Conviviality posts 147% profits boost

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

17 July 2017

UK alcohol wholesaler and Bargain Booze-owner Conviviality Plc has reported a pre-tax profits surge of 147% as it announced its final results for the 52 weeks to 30 April 2017.

CEO Diana Hunter, said underlying growth as well as its flurry of recent acquisitions had helped it to outperform the market.

Total revenue was up 85% to £1,560m. Wholesale arm, Conviviality Direct which includes Matthew Clark and Bibendum, grew sales to £1,040m, a 6.4% increase in revenue from the previous year. 4.8% increase in revenue per outlet and 235 new customers served during the year

Conviviality Trading, its outdoor and events arm and brand activation agency, achieved a 1% sales boost to £146m.

Conviviality Retail – which includes the Bargain Booze, Bargain Booze Select Convenience and Wine Rack brands – achieved sales of £378m, a 6.1% increase from the previous year.

Hunter hailed a transformational year, with the integration of the recent acquisitions such as Bibendum which was purchased in May 2016, ahead of plan, and delivering £6m of synergies. There was continued growth of the company’s digital platform with 4,645 customers now choosing to place orders this way.

'Our growth isn’t just from acquisitions,' added Hunter. 'There’s underlying growth there. The model is working. When you deliver 5.8% sales growth, ahead of the market at 1.3% it suggests that the business model is the right one to follow.'

She added that the business was well equipped to handle any impact from Brexit. 'Everything that we have done in terms of building the business is our natural hedge. It creates a resilience in the business that these different businesses on their own 18 months ago would not have had. We’re much stronger together. It gives us a natural resilience to continue to grow.'

She added: 'The benefit for the on-trade customers is they can access a depth of skill and talent that is far stronger in the combined group than it would have been in the individual group. Matthew Clark customers can now for example access the sourcing skill and buying skill of the group and on-top of that can access the unique customer insight and data that we hold. Bibendum on its own had a great reputation for customer insight, but when you add 25,000 outlets into that model… it’s the combined strength of the group that our on-trade customers are really benefitting from.'

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