In the year to April 30, it had refitted 53 stores, converted 76 Kwik Saves to Somerfields and acquired 129 stores. A further 126 Kwik Saves would become Somerfields, but Back said he was committed to the soft-discount format. The roll-out of the ‘Labstore’ model will begin next week.
Kwik Save like-for-like sales for the first nine weeks of the year were down 6.4%. But Back was upbeat about the group’s overall performance for the year. Sales were up 3.19% to £5.21bn, pre-tax profit before exceptionals was up 63% to £53.1m and group like for-like sales were down 0.4%.
Of Somerfield’s potential takeover, Back said progress had been made by the two interested parties in due diligence. However, he warned there could still be no bid. One consortium was under strain this week as Baugur chief executive Jon Asgeir Johannesson and five others were indicted on fraud charges.