Aldi has revealed plans to more than double the number of outlets within London’s M25 to 100 thanks to smaller-format shops proving more successful than it had expected. Giles Hurley, chief executive, said London could easily support 250 stores. It currently has 45. Around fifty would work for its new Local format (Financial Times £).
Aldi plans to open a new supermarket each week, says The (BBC). The expansion will happen over the next six years. Forthcoming openings include Sydenham, Blackheath and Watford. Aldi announced record sales of £11.3bn in the UK and Ireland last year. Operating profits fell 26% to £197.9m and pre-tax profits fell 18% to £182.2m (The Times £).
Aldi said more than half of Britain’s households shopped with it and customer numbers had reached 16.6m (The Daily Mail). Aldi aims to increase the number of stores it has from 840 to 1,200 by 2025. It has linked with AO.com to deliver more non-food goods (The Guardian). An opinion piece in The Independent argues why the big supermarket groups have good reason to fear Aldi.
Asda has reported pre-tax profit for 2018 up 13% to £804.9m on total revenues up 3.1% to £22.9bn. Market share fell from 15.4% to 15.3%. Online sales grew ahead of the industry. Employees held protests at 12 stores yesterday over a new “flexible” contract (The Times £).
US cattle and poultry-rearing states are battling the meat substitutes industry which they consider a threat. They are fighting for a ban on the word “meat” in the labelling if the product does not come from an animal. A dozen states have passed legislation to date and others are in the process of doing so (Financial Times £).
Elsewhere, in the same newspaper, a writer opines that it is time we recognised the vital role livestock plays across the world’s developing economies and that alternative meat products are not the answer for poorer countries. The writer says animal-sourced food is less of a consumer product than a vital source of income, food and livelihood in many developing countries and less affluent economies. She points out that “alt-meats” are unlikely to be a viable dietary solution for the one in 10 people living on less than $2 a day (Financial Times £).
Eddie Stobart warned that preparations for new contracts had placed “substantial demands on working capital” and operating profit would be “significantly below the board’s expectations. It said it was in talks with lenders and pondering plans to raise new equity. It said it expected EBIT to come in at £10m-£11m for the six months to 31 May, on revenues of about £450m. Underlying EBIT for the whole of 2019 would be “significantly below the board’s expectations” (Financial Times £).
Share trading in the company has been suspended for more than three weeks after an internal fracas over its accounting (The Times £). The company confirmed last week it was being lined up for a possible takeover following an expression of interest from shareholder DBAY Advisors, which used to own the company (The Daily Mail).
China Mengniu Dairy has offered A$1.5bn (£1bn) to buy Australian infant formula maker Bellamy’s in a bid that represents a 59% premium to Friday’s closing price (Financial Times £).
The Confederation of British Industry has warned chancellor Sajid Javid must overhaul the apprenticeship levy by the end of this year or risk losing a generation of young workers untrained to cope with the increasing use of automation and artificial intelligence at work (The Times £).
Local councils have spent more than £770m buying shopping centres since 2016 as they try to regenerate town centres. The figure is poised to reach £1bn by the end of next year, says Revo (The Times £).
A Labour government would strip Amazon of public sector contracts if it failed to pay its “fair” share of tax, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has warned (The Independent), citing an earlier story in the Mirror.
Analysts are split on whether Saturday’s attacks on Saudi Arabia that cut 5% off daily global crude oil production will feed through to fuel prices for consumers (The Independent).