Starting out importing beef from South America in 1878, this Hertfordshire company now distributes 70,000 tonnes a year of lamb, pork, poultry, seafood, vegetables and dairy products. It has offices in continental Europe, Asia and Australasia supplying manufacturers, caterers and grocers around the world. This geographic expansion, together with diversification, pushed sales to £191.5m in 2009 under chief executive Alan Thompson, though profits fell to £300,000.

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Company details
CompanyTowers Thompson
ActivityFood distributor
Sales £m191.5
Operating profit £m0.2
Main shareholdersAlan Thompson (30%), Terry Goddard (22%), Dennis Clark (16%), Paul Dolan (12%), others (15%)

If applicable:

* supplied by Company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda