It was proclaimed 'The Year of the Discounter', as Aldi, Lidl and Netto hogged the headlines. But it's not just the multiple discounters that are cashing in.

Our annual ranking of the UK's Top 50 independent grocery retailers, published in this issue, shows the six discounters that made the grade this year posted double or triple digit increases in sales and profits, as shoppers flocked to their stores to hunt out a bargain.

Liverpool-based TJ Morris, which trades as Home Bargains, posted a whopping £34m profit, on a margin of 9%, while the notoriously media shy frozen food chain Farmfoods chalked up a 127% increase in profits to £5m. (And our figures for Farmfoods come ahead of the chain's storming 2008, where TNS claims sales increased by 15%).

Gaining confidence from an increasingly food-oriented mix, the likes of 99p - and even Wilkinsons -are attracting shoppers with bargains that can embarrass the multiples. The false moustaches have gone, the Waitrose carrier bags are at home and our independent discount sector is alive - and kicking butt. 

Top 50 list shows indie discounters on the rise

More on pages 5 and 40