Spares specialist First Choice Group has reported a successful 2019 in its just-published group of companies accounts for that calendar year.
Publicly available from Companies House, the report states that in the 12 months to 31 December 2019, sales for the year were £36.2m, an increase year on year of 15% from 2018’s £31.4m.
Operating profit grew by a massive 79%, from £0.7m to £1.2m, while stock increased during the year, from £6.4m to £8.8m.
MD John Whitehouse and FD David Mitchell jointly stated to Catering Insight: “There were a lot of positives to take from the financial year ended 31 December 2019. We produced growth in turnover and profit before tax and strengthened our position the leading commercial catering spares provider in the UK.
“We continue to work closely with original equipment manufacturers developing more master distribution agreements with several major UK catering parts and ancillaries suppliers.
“First Choice has invested further in stock holding, web and app technology and ever innovative logistical solutions, enabling further improvements in first time shipments and general stock availability.”
Within the report, Whitehouse noted that like most businesses, First Choice has been affected by Covid-19 this year, and also detailed the group’s preparation for the upcoming end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021: “The company recognises that as Brexit unfolds a number of parties will be concerned, including the company’s customers, European-based suppliers and European-based manufacturer partners.
“Equally, within the company-wide ranging sections of the business are likely to see some changes; areas including customer services, sales, procurement, finance, human resources and information technology. The directors have therefore considered amongst a number of areas, the potential impact of changes to tariffs and customs borders, the potential impact on costs, administrative workload and employees, but also the effect of increased volatility of exchange rates.
“As a prelude, the company has undertaken a review of the supply chain for component parts and to mitigate the impact of any major changes following Brexit and explored possible changes needed to our policies and processes. Steps have been taken to mitigate any potential risks concerning EU citizenship of any members of our staff. As a company well versed with the demands of international trade, we have every confidence in the skill and expertise of our staff and their understanding of procedures to be able to cope with any changes necessitated following Brexit.”