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Business & Economy

North Shields’ Kitwave Group enjoys ‘quicker than expected’ pandemic rebound

Renewed demand has helped an independent wholesaler recover more quickly than expected from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to latest results.

Kitwave Group swung back into profit during its last half-year, as revenues increased more than 50 per cent.

Bosses at the North Shields firm say the uptick was triggered by clamour across its vending, ambient and foodservice divisions.

According to its results – which were released today (Tuesday, July 5) and cover the six-month period to April 30 – post-tax profit stood at £4.4 million, compared to a £3.4 million loss in the corresponding period last year, with revenue up 51.8 per cent to £223.3 million.

And such is the momentum that officials – despite the ongoing cost of living crisis – have hiked full-year forecasts.

Paul Young, chief executive at Kitwave Group – which earlier this year bought Devon’s M.J. Baker Foodservice Limited for £24.5 million – said: “With the detrimental effects of COVID-19 significantly reduced, the group made great strides operationally and commercially during the period.

“It should be noted this reporting period includes Christmas 2021, a period that was still overshadowed by high rates of positive COVID-19 cases and hesitancy to socialise among consumers, said Paul, pictured above, right, with Kitwave Group’s chief financial officer David Brind.

He added: “The outlook for the UK economy is dominated by cost of living issues, which provide an element of uncertainty in relation to end consumer demand.

“While the board is cognisant these issues could impact trading in future periods, given the better-than-expected performance in the first half-year and the strong start to the second, we expect to be significantly ahead of expectations for the current year.”

Kitwave Group floated on the AIM sub-market last May, and previously concluded deals to add operators HB Clark and Central Supplies to its ranks.