Westcoast sales up, profits flat
Distie says took share from price cutting rivals in 2011
Westcoast posted sales growth last year but intense price competition among rivals prevented a bounce in profits.
The privately held UK wholesaling outfit turned over £826m in the 12 calendar months, up 2 per cent on the previous year, while operating profit was flat at £6.9m as was retained profit at £4.5m.
This represents a return on capital employed of 10.9 per cent, slightly higher than the previous year but a little way below 2009 levels.
In a director's report accompanying the results, Westcoast described the UK sector as "extremely competitive" and that it sought to set it self apart from rivals by "operating a more efficient and low cost operation".
"Our continued focus on our cost base has allowed us to reduce our operating costs, both in absolute terms, and as a percentage of revenue to 1.7 per cent (£14.4m)," said Westcoast.
"In such challenging market conditions this advantage has enabled Westcoast to take market share," the distributor added.
Turnover in the UK fell 0.6 per cent to £769m but this was more than offset by a spike in sales to European resellers, up 59 per cent £57m.
Stocks turns fell slightly to 21.3 days and debtor days climbed to 35 compared to 29 days in 2010. ®