AF Blakemore, the family owned food retail, forecourt, wholesale and distribution business, which celebrates its centenary in 2017, recorded annual sales of £1.31bn with pre-tax profits up from £7.59m to £7.60m for the 2015/16 financial year. Net Assets have also grown by 7.6% to £80.8m.

AF Blakemore chairman, Peter Blakemore, described the figures as a pleasing steady result, explaining: “The result has been achieved against a background of difficult trading conditions in the food retail and wholesale markets together with significant levels of price deflation.”

Cost control was cited as a major consideration during the year and he pointed to the fact that the business has continued to retain and re-invest all of its post-tax profits into improving the group operations and those of its independent retail customers.

Blakemore also looked ahead to the future and the company’s 2020 vision, which is focused on generating sustainable growth and long-term prosperity.

He said: “AF Blakemore has set out a vision for 2020 to solidify its position as a multi-market national food operator with a fantastic reputation for service among trade partners and consumers.

“Collaboration is now required across the AF Blakemore Group for the business to achieve its goals. More than ever we need to use the expertise from across our divisions to benefit the whole company, capitalising on economies of scale and the sharing of best practice.”