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Retailer charts period under new owners

Wednesday 28 November 2012 6:00

Northumberland’s Automatic Retailing, which sells food and drink products to the vending machine industry, has slipped into the red despite a sharp rise in annual turnover.

The Cramlington company, that was acquired by North East-based cash and carry firm Kitwave in September 2011, saw its annual turnover jump to £60.6m in the year ended April 2012, up from £53m in 2011.

However, the company said profit was affected by the loss on a disposal of properties owned by the company as part of the acquisition of shares by Kitwave. Profit was further affected by the “exceptional bad debt” created by the administration of DBC Foodservices (£0.4m).

The company reported a loss of £257,586 in the financial year, compared to an overall profit of £1.9m the previous year. Operating profit for the period was £2m, compared to £2.8m in 2011.

Automatic’s parent company, which became Kitwave One in March 2011, recorded its overall turnover in the year ending April 2012 at £156.5m. The group also operates toys and party products wholesaler Andersons, based in Norfolk.