String of acquisitions makes Boparan the UK’s largest grocery supplier

String of acquisitions makes Boparan the UK’s largest grocery supplier

Boparan, parent company of 2 Sisters Food Group, has added £2.5bn of revenue through acquisitions over five years, according to OC&C Strategy Consultants’ annual Food and Drink 150.

OC&C Strategy Consultants’ annual Food and Drink 150 is a sector-wide analysis of the financial statements of the top food and soft drinks firms in the UK, and ranks companies by revenue.

Ranjit Singh Boparan.

Ranjit Singh Boparan, now heads the UK’s largest grocery supplier.

Boparan has seized the top spot in the 150 rankings, becoming the biggest food and drink producer in the UK. A string of acquisitions – including household names like Goodfella’s Pizza, Fox’s Biscuits and Matthew Walker Christmas Puddings – has helped the company to quadruple its revenue in five years.

Between 2010 and 2014, Boparan climbed from 20th place to number one in OC&C’s rankings, with revenue increasing from £838 million to £3.36 billion in the same time period. In 2014, the company grew its protein business by 30 per cent year on year. As a result of Boparan’s meteoric rise, after five years as the UK’s largest grocery supplier, Associated British Foods’ grocery division has been pushed into second place, despite aggressive cost-cutting helping the company to achieve a 30 per cent increase in operating profit.

Boparan’s  performance has enabled the company to buck the trend of an otherwise depressed sector, where intense competition among the grocers has had a knock-on effect on producers’ revenues. The average rate of revenue growth slumped from 5.8 per cent in 2014 to just 2.9 per cent this year.

Will Hayllar, partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants and author of the report said: “Changing shopping habits, supermarket price wars, and the continual rise of discounters’ share of the market in the UK have pushed grocery suppliers’ revenue growth to historic lows and squeezed margins ever tighter. However, there is cause for some optimism. Producers are now tackling these challenges head on by investing heavily in efficiencies and innovation, and we’re seeing M&A activity ramping up right across the sector, reflecting greater investor confidence and an appetite for growth among players.”

This year’s report also identified Moy Park as having pursued a winning strategy in a challenging marketplace.It has been buoyed ahead of its sale to JBS by 10.5 per cent revenue growth in 2014. Organic growth across its core UK and Irish markets, tight cost controls to drive profitability and targeted investment in its proposition delivered a turnover of £1.2 billion.

 

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