Sales at Northern Irish Spar wholesaler Henderson Group rose by 11.8% in 2008 while profits were up 10.7%, driven by the addition of 28 new outlets and a EuroSpar Store of the Future in Bangor.

Henderson Wholesale sales director Patrick Doody said the strong results showed that the group's "support of local producers and suppliers are paying dividends".

Henderson, which is to invest £14m this year in new Stores of the Future will also co-invest with independent retailers to upgrade their stores and plans to spend £3m marketing the retail brands.