Aberness Foods, Mace's wholesaler for Scotland, is on course for £1m in pretax profit for the year to March 2001, after interim profits jumped 34% to £600,000. The announcement came as Aberness unveiled a strategy to expand its portfolio of 34 company owned Mace stores. This includes a focus on hot food, key period promotional campaigns, and a bread and milk guarantee. The guarantee, running from December in Aberness Foods' stores and in its independent Mace retailer Premier Club, promises a free two litre carton of milk or white loaf if either item is out of stock. "We want to avoid customers' frustration if these key purchases are not available," said retail director Graeme Hay. He said restructuring the retail division, and introducing IT and staff training were factors behind its success. Aberness Foods is a member of Nisa-Today's Central Buying Consortium. Hay praised opportunities to pool ideas, and to share in buy one get one free programmes, shopper surveys and a category specialist scheme. {{NEWS }}