JW Filshill, Scots wholesaler, ups turnover to £203m

Filshill CEO Simon Hannah and Keith Geddes, chief financial and operating officer

Food and drink wholesaler JW Filshill, one of Scotland’s oldest food and drink wholesalers, has reported that its turnover increased 2% to £203 million in the year ending January 31, 2023.

Glasgow-based Filshill, a fifth-generation business that supplies the KeyStore convenience stores and independent retailers across Scotland and the north of England — and national accounts including the Scottish Prison Service — saw operating profits rise from £2.7 million to £2.9 million.

Filshill, which relocated from Hillington to new purpose-built premises at Westway Park near Glasgow Airport in March, recorded gross profit of £19.4 million, up from £17 million.

Filshil employs 235 people and is a member of Unitas Wholesale, the largest wholesale services company in the UK, with a buying power in excess of £8 billion.

Keith Geddes, chief financial and operating officer, said he was pleased with the results “given that they were achieved against the context of the rebalancing of the economy in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and also the significant delay in moving to our new facility which had restricted the group’s ability to grow revenue due to having reached maximum operational capacity in Hillington.”

Geddes said the results had been achieved “despite increases in operating costs absorbed by the business in supporting employees through the cost of living crisis, fuel price increases and recent rising inflation”.

Geddes said: “Significant resource was also spent preparing for the move to the new site in Renfrew which was successfully completed just after this financial year end in March 2023.

“This move is transformational for the efficient operation of the business and sets the foundations for our planned growth over coming years.”

Geddes was also pleased with the successful integration of the Iain Hill Limited business in 2022 and the continued success of the previously acquired Eldorado Tonic Wine brand.

Addressing supply issues the business faced during the year, Geddes added: “We continue to work hard on building strong partnership based relationships with customers and key suppliers and we were again recently voted number one by suppliers in an independent survey by The Advantage Group across our key competitors for the thirteenth consecutive year.”

Filshill also continued to develop its strategy around reducing its carbon footprint, identifying areas where it can positively influence a reduction in its carbon impact and work towards a net-zero emissions position.

Geddes highlighted the recent order of two new 18-tonne electric vehicles as a major step forward in the rollout of electric and hybrid vehicles and the drive to hit the group’s carbon reduction objectives.

Filshill CEO Simon Hannah said: “The long-term success of the company is central to everything we do.

“We invest in long-term return projects to protect future revenue streams and this includes constantly updating our technology, equipment and vehicle fleet – an approach that has resulted in greater efficiencies and customer satisfaction.”