Strong growth at franchise stores in Ireland and a full-year contribution from UK subsidiary Budgens helped increase sales at Musgrave Group by 20% in 2003.
The Irish distribution group, which has recently boosted its presence in the UK with the acquisition of Londis, posted a 13% rise in retail sales through its Centra format and an 8% rise at SuperValu stores in the Irish Republic. The stores, which are owned and operated by independent retailers, will be supported by a new 150,000 sq ft distribution centre in Kilcock, County Kildare, which is due to open in September.
At least 10 new SuperValu stores and 40 new Centra stores are planned in 2004. In Northern Ireland, retail sales at SuperValu and Centra were up 15%.
Budgens, which Musgrave acquired in July 2002, posted a 3.5% rise in sales to £503m.