This Hove wholesaler helps newsagents, convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol stations keep their shelves stocked. The company supplies 69,000 products, from ice cream and Creme Eggs to cigarettes and flowers. It owns the franchises Mace, Mace Express and Supershop as well as the van-based distribution services Snacksdirect and Sweetdirect. The company recently won contracts to supply Little Chef and Blockbuster. P&H also provides outlets with electronic point-of-sale systems and with cash and vending machines. Chief executive Chris Etherington led a £298m management buyout in 2008. The business trades with very slim margins but sales reached £4,227m in 2009.

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Company details
Year2010
Rank4
CompanyPalmer and Harvey
ActivityWholesale distributor
LocationEast Sussex
Sales £m4,227
Profit £m42
Year endApr 09
Principal shareholdersManagement and employees (75%), former employees (25%)
Staff3,529
Founded1925
Websitewww.palmerharvey.co.uk

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure