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Foodservice supplier Fresh Direct has reported a rise in profits in its annual results for the year to 3 August 2012.

With groups sales of £157 million, up 14 per cent (£20 million on 2011), the fruit and vegetable specialist confirmed a 24 per cent increase (£8.6 million) in gross profits for the year.Sales of food and drink in the foodservice sector are currently worth £44 billion.

David Burns, managing director of Fresh Direct, said the results were a positive sign.

He said in the group’s annual report: “As widely communicated at the time, not least by our competitors, we absorbed an exceptional bad debt of £1.1m during the yearas a result of the demise of DBC Foodservice Ltd.

'Notwithstanding that huge disappointment and pain, I am pleased to report pre-tax profits at just over £3.6m, versus £2.3m in 2011.'

Last year, the company underwent a significant re-branding operation with over 200 vehicles, buildings and food factories re-designed, and Burns admitts he would now like the firm to have a bigger influence over supermarkets in the coming years.

He concluded: 'We woud love to find a way to better infuence the supermarkets, but that is another project for another year.

'Over the last year, we have developed our people, facilities and range to allow us to have a bigger impact; without fruit and vegetables we would be in trouble.'

*This article has been updated because in the original story a reference was made to Fresh Direct having owned DBC. This was in fact incorrect and the Fresh Produce Journal would like to apologise for the error.