A.F. Blakemore & Son Limited is “energised and ready for the year ahead”, after a year of significant investment and reorganisation, said its chairman Peter Blakemore.

His comments come as the company announces its financial results for the year ending 30th April 2019. Sales from A.F. Blakemore’s continuing operations rose by 4.6% to £1.1bn over the year, while pre-tax profit from the same continuing operations rose by 19.5% from £8.5m to £10.2m.

Blakemore said: “This has been a tremendous performance and I’d like to thank all our staff who have worked so hard to help us achieve these results.

“We have continued to achieve positive growth across all channels and have carried out major reviews into all areas of our business to make sure we have the right strategies in place.”

The company has also made major investments through the year, in upgrading and buying new stores, improving logistics and developing its IT systems.

One of these investments was the purchase of 22 Philpotts stores last February, which adds further growth momentum to its existing fresh foods and foodservice business.

A.F. Blakemore & Son also signed a pre-let agreement on a 20-year lease for a 164,850 sq ft multi-temperature distribution facility on Manton Lane, Bedford as part of its ambitious growth plans.

It is due to take occupancy in 2021, subject to receiving planning permission. The new site will complement A.F. Blakemore’s existing network of distribution centres and give the business greater supply-chain capacity to support its growth.

Blakemore said: “This is another exciting development for A.F. Blakemore and reflects the confidence we feel in the company’s ability to grow in the markets it operates in.

“As a business, we are feeling energised and ready to take advantage of all the opportunities available in the rapidly changing market.”

A.F. Blakemore’s commitment to growing a sustainable business for the future means that the majority of profits are re-invested back into the company and every year 2% is put aside to support the Blakemore Foundation charitable trust.

The Blakemore Foundation was established in 2007 by the Blakemore family to support good causes across the company’s trading area. Over the past 12 years it has awarded over £2.6m via 31,869 charitable donations to good causes championed by staff, customers and the local community.

“The entire business is committed to our Blakemore Way values and we believe that profits should be re-invested within the business to benefit employees, customers and local communities,” Blakemore concluded.