Market bucks economic trend with strong financial results

Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA) has reported an increase in its turnover of more than seven per cent - despite the current economic gloom.

The authority, which manages London's New Covent Garden Market, has revealed in its annual report that its turnover for the 2007/08 financial year reached £602m - 7.5 per cent more than in the previous year.

Its profits after taxation were also up by £500,000 - an increase, albeit only slight, on last year's £400,000.

Fresh produce trade is also weathering the economic storm, as overall trade in the fruit and vegetable market increased by 0.5 per cent. Although this increase is also only marginal, it is the fourth year that there has been growth in this sector following many years of decline.

The flower market, however, showed a decline of five per cent during the same period.

Occupancy of trading space in the market also rose to 95 per cent, from 92 per cent the previous year.

Covent Garden Market Authority chief executive Jan Lloyd said: "Our achievements in the past 12 months would not have been possible without the commitment of employees, tenants and other stakeholders. (CGMA) is extremely grateful to all those who have supported its work during the year."

Meanwhile, the authority is pressing on with its redevelopment plans - revealing in its annual report that this summer it hopes to secure government approval to start the formal process of issuing a tender notice for a development partner from the private sector.

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