Somerfield is in the spotlight today with the announcements of a pre-tax profit of £41.1m, up from £25.8m last year, and also the appointment of a new chief executive.

The company recorded a like-for-like sales increase of 2% for Somerfield with a group sales like-for-like growth of 1.1%, for the 52 weeks ending 24 April.

The group’s other retailer Kwik Save, recorded a like-for-like drop in sales of 0.1% but in the first nine weeks of the new year, this has risen to a 2.4% increase.

The company’s has also announced today that Steve Back, the current finance director, has been appointed group chief executive of Somerfield.

John von Spreckelson will announce later today that he is giving up the chief executive role to concentrate on his role of chairman.

Back, ex-logistics and group finance director of Budgens, will be succeeded as finance director by David Cheyne, currently head of the convenience business.

Von Spreckelson commented: “I am delighted to announce Steve Back’s appointment as the company’s new chief executive. His track record as group finance director and his extensive retail experience ideally equip him to implement the next phases of our recovery programme.”