Musgrave Retail Partners GB has moved back into the black. The owner of the Budgens and Londis franchises reported pre-tax profits of £3.7m in the year to 31 December 2009 against losses of £2.7m the year before.

Sales rose 32% to £926.6m during the period. Growth had been achieved through increased store numbers and like-for-like growth, the company said.

However, the wholesaler insisted the results were not directly comparable with the previous year due to a shorter trading period and one-off costs in 2008 following a corporate restructure. “This is a satisfactory performance given the challenging trading environment in the grocery market in Great Britain in 2009,” the directors said.

The accounts also revealed that Musgrave GB paid £14.4m for the stores it acquired from The Co-operative Group last year. It is currently operating the 17 stores itself, but plans to sell them to independent retailers “over time”. In August, sources suggested the stores had “really struggled” with sales “massively down” since Musgrave GB had taken them on, but the company insisted they were “on track and achieving forecasts set”.

In June, Musgrave GB’s Irish owner Musgrave Group revealed sales in its total UK business, which also includes Mace, SuperValu and Centra in Northern Ireland, rose 3% to £1.4bn in the year to 31 December.