This food wholesaler claims to deliver more than a quarter of all cigarettes and individual ice creams sold in the UK. Its sales dipped slightly in 2004 to £3,531m, but the Hove firm’s operating profit increased £5m to £23m. In March, the company announced a new deal worth £5m a year to supply 38 Murco forecourts. More than 1,000 of Palmer & Harvey’s employees own a stake in the business after a £172m buyout in 2002 that was led by chairman Christopher Adams.

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Company details
Year2005
Rank3
CompanyPalmer and Harvey
ActivityWholesale distributor
LocationEast Sussex
Sales £m3,531
Profit £m23
Year endApr 04
Principal shareholdersManagement and employees (75%), previous shareholders (25%)
Staff3,732
Founded1925
Websitewww.palmerharvey.co.uk

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure