Athif Sarwar Talks About United Wholesale Growth

Friday, 18 July 2014

United Wholesale – Scotland’s largest independent wholesaler – has delivered sales of £212million during the past financial year.

In a highly competitive economic climate, United Wholesale (Scotland) is pleased to report continuing growth in its core business of supplying independent retailers with a comprehensive range of products.

Both its cash and carry depots at Maxwell Road and Queenslie performed well, resulting in a 4.8 per cent rise in turnover. In the year to December 31, 2012, turnover was £202m.

Pre-tax profit also grew modestly to £2.08m, up from £2.06m on the previous 12 months.

Further progress has been made in developing United Wholesale (Scotland)’s symbol group operation under the Day Today and Day Today Express banners - a key element of the business’ long-term strategy - with performance outstripping original expectations.

The directors are pleased to have delivered this during a transitional phase of footprint enlargement, including the acquisition of Terston House at Newbridge in Edinburgh.

However, administrative costs increased by 7.1 per cent with factors including the addition of staff helping to grow the business long-term, legal and banking charges incurred in changing bank, and costs incurred through acquiring and leasing the new property at Newbridge.

The group balance sheet has been strengthened by the directors' policy of reinvesting most of the after tax profits in the group.

During the year the company also made political donations to the Labour Party of £35,832, and charitable donations of £60,675.

Managing director Asim Sarwar – who operates the business alongside his brother Athif Sarwar - said the leading cash and carry operator is pleased to deliver strong results amid heightened competition and less disposable incomes among consumers.

He said: “We are extremely pleased by our rise in turnover, representing a return on the significant investments we have made, which we are certain will continue to deliver sustained growth.

“We have developed and nurtured key areas of the business and now look forward to seeing them flourish as we expand our footprint.

“This performance is a result of staying true to our core ethic of supporting customers in what remains a very challenging economic climate.”

Athif Sarwar added: “We believe our customer focused strategy will provide us with a strong foundation going forward as we enlarge our footprint in the east coast, while further developing our symbol group outlets.

“As always, our primary objective has been to deliver aggressively on price, ensuring our customers can compete with supermarkets and retail groups.

“Our credit facilities also offer significant benefits to customers who do not have access to pre-recession borrowing levels.

“By adopting this positive approach, we have been able to secure steady growth, increase our offering, and sow the seeds of future success.”

Read The Herald Scotland Feature