Dunstable-based Advance Group has seen its turnover bounce back in its latest annual report, which is publically available on Companies House.
In the 12 months to 31 March 2019, the distributor generated £16.7m turnover, 8% up on the £15.4m figure from the previous year, which was impacted by the downturn in one of Advance’s core markets, the casual dining sector.
Operating profit also rose by nearly 4%, from £515,000 to £535,000 in 2018-19. However, gross profit percentage slipped slightly to 24.71%, as compared to 25.68% for 2017-18.
The directors stated in the report: “The financial position of the company remains strong and the company is well placed to take advantage of business opportunities as they arise. The directors look forward to the future with confidence.”
Chairman, Steve Coates, told Catering Insight: “The team have worked incredibly hard to produce a very good performance in what was another challenging year for both us and the industry. We would like to thank them all for their continued support.”
He analysed: “The company has adapted very well to the dramatic slowdown in the casual dining channel by finding and converting new business in different market sectors. We continue to develop the business through our projects and asset management divisions.
“At Advance we are always working on new innovate solutions and enhanced customer experiences. This will be critical for our future success in a market that ultra-competitive and not expanding.
“Winning new market share is our focus for the next couple of years.”
During the last year, the company continued with the integration of Prestige Catering Equipment, after having acquired 75% of its fellow distributor’s share capital at the beginning of 2018.
Coates commented: “The addition to the group of Prestige Catering Equipment has proved to be very successful.
“We are still actively seeking further acquisition opportunities to enhance our unique catering equipment operating system that the company has developed over the last 5 years.
“The market remains tough and challenging. But as they say: ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’”