Top Track 100

When your morning newspaper hits the doormat, profits from its sale are likely to flow back to this Essex company. Thistledove operates the Forbuoys, Martins and McColl newsagents, and through its subsidiary TM Retail, is snapping at the heels of the WH Smith chain. The distribution firm, which recently entered a joint venture with the Somerfield supermarket group, reported that sales had fallen by £14m to £692m in 2002, when Thistledove had 10,536 employees.

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Company details
Year2003
Rank37
CompanyMartin McColl
ActivityConvenience store operator
LocationEssex
Sales £m*692
Profit £m*18
Year endNov 02
Principal shareholdersInstitutions including Electra, HSBC, L&G Ventures
Staff10,536
Founded1901
Websitewww.martinmccoll.co.uk

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure **Estimated