ADM Londis, the Irish Republic's wholesale and c-store group, has been successfully recruiting new members in a year of strong trading, joint chief executive Stephen O'Riordan told the AGM in Dublin this week.

Wholesale turnover, he said, had risen to E336m, an 11.1% increase - twice the previous year's figure - with pre-tax profits up 62% to E4.6m, in what he described as "another excellent year". In addition, 42 new stores had joined the network in 2005, bringing the total to more than 340. The group converted to plc status last year and is now winning high-profile recruits from its rivals, added O'Riordan.

"Retailers are choosing Londis not only for our brand offering, but also because they can own shares in the group and realise a market value for their holding," he told the AGM. Among recruits was the six-store Griffin chain in Dublin, formerly allied to Musgrave, and Londis also claims to have won over two other "sizeable franchisees".

ADM Londis offers a wholesale service to independent retailers who use its brand in their stores. Its main competitors in the Irish market are the Musgrave-owned Centra and SuperValu chains and Spar, owned by BWG.

In its first year as a plc, the Londis share price rose 30%. However, O'Riordan warned of tough trading ahead. "The market is likely to become even more competitive this year, given the multiples' expansion plans and end of the Groceries Order."