WSH, the UK's largest independent food services management operator, has weathered the turbulent economic conditions of 2009 with a 10% trading uplift and revenues in excess of £300m.
Alastair Storey, chairman and chief executive of WSH, described 2009 as an "incredibly challenging year" which saw the group's key business and industry market contract.
However WSH's business and industry caterer BaxterStorey was still able to generate record new business sales of £50m resulting in an £8m increased turnover on 2008.
Of the six WSH trading brands, BaxterStorey accounts for 70% (£216m) of total revenues following the addition of 30 new clients in 2009.
The remaining 30% (£88m) is comprised of BaxterStorey Ireland, which saw its income increase by 122%; education caterers Cater Link, which serves state schools, and Holroyd Howe Independent, which caters for the independent education market; reception management service Portico; and Benugo, the deli to restaurant operator.
Since its acquisition by WSH in November 2007, turnover at Benugo has doubled from £13m to £26m at the end of 2009.
Storey said WSH is positioned for further growth as result of strong performance across all the group's businesses, which he described as "absolute evidence of the wisdom of investing across different pockets of the hospitality sector."
"All in all, the business is in good shape and is we're looking forward to making the most of the opportunities that will arise in the year ahead," he added.
WSH employs more than 8,500 staff and in 2009 the group invested £1.1m in training initiatives, including the Chef Academy and Barista Academy. A new management training programme is to be launched in 2010.
By Janie Stamford
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