The Bestway Group has announced its financial results for the year ended 30 June 2017.
The Group’s turnover increased by 0.3% to £3.29 billion from £3.28 billion in 2016 with all businesses profitable for the year under review.
Group profit before tax increased by 8.5% to £448.4 million as compared to £413.3 million in 2016. This was due to an improvement in the underlying performance of the Wholesale and Cement businesses as well as the benefit of devaluation in the British Pound following the Brexit announcement.
Business conditions in Pakistan have remained stable during the year and the group has capitalised on opportunities to enhance our market share in the cement and banking sectors through Bestway Cement Limited and United Bank Limited.
Mr Zameer Choudrey CBE, the Group Chief Executive said, “2017 has been a year of profit growth and rapid debt repayment for the Group. Despite difficult business conditions and uncertainty in the UK, we have maintained our market share across the Wholesale and Pharmacy businesses while delivering significant profit growth in our Cement and Banking interests in Pakistan.”
In the UK, both the food and drink, and pharmacy sectors have been under significant pressure with the continuing encroachment of the multiple retailers into the convenience space and the reduction in NHS funding and drug reimbursement prices respectively.
There has been a strong emphasis on cash generation across all business units. During the year, the Group made repayments of £177.3 million as part of its ongoing de-leveraging strategy. This included £132.9 million of repayments of debt in the UK, which had been taken as part of the acquisition of Well Pharmacy, as well as repayments of £44.4 million of debt by Bestway Cement Limited as part of Pakcem’s acquisition.
The Group refinanced the £290 million outstanding debt in September 2017 and this new facility provides the Group with the funding security to develop its businesses and execute its growth strategy.