A Worcester fast fit centre has put the city on the map with a top-of-the-table business performance, beating 24 stores to be crowned as the Midland's finest.

HiQ Worcester has defied the economic downturn to convert a number of sales opportunities and kick its competitors into touch.

Compared with 24 other HiQ centres in Midlands who are owned by Easy Tyres, the Droitwich Road based centre is boasting a 10 per cent higher turnover and 15 per cent higher profit margins than its nearest HiQ counterpart.

It has also taken out a sponsorship with Worcester Warriors RFC to try and stimulate sales, which has been cited as a major reason for the centre's success.Centre manager Alan Long, who has been working at HiQ for 30 years, said the rugby sponsorship had been a resounding triumph, as it allowed his staff to offer discounts through its branding on matchday car parking passes.

He said: "Our Worcester Warriors partnership has been fantastic for us, and has played a big part in our business successes.

HiQ's franchisee Easy Tyre & Autocentres praised the work of Alan and his staff and pointed to the freezing cold weather as one reason for high turnover in 2010, along with their friendly, reliable service.

Marketing manager Emma-Jane Kisby said: "The centre continues to outshine all other Midlands HiQ stores through the familiarity and trust it has forged with the Worcester community over many years.

"Repeat business has played a big part in the results, with cash custom accounting for increased profit margins.

"The Big Freeze in 2010 has also seen an increase in traffic to the centre's forecourt. Alan and his team has been fixing cracked alloys and wheel alignment problems caused by pot hole damage.

"Deteriorating road conditions has caused around 10 extra visits to HiQ per week since the beginning of the year."

HiQ Worcester's results are mirrored in the HiQ fast fit network's overall performance for 2009.

A total of 41 franchisees operate 135 locations and in the first 12 months of operating as a fully franchised operation, overall turnover is up by 8.6 per cent, average ticket value is up by 5 per cent and retail footfall has increased by 8.2 per cent.

HiQ Worcester is enjoying a great trading period, and a sponsorship with the Worcester Warriors (picture courtesy of the Worcester News)