Somerfield is to focus on cost control with target cost savings of around £100m over the next three years, to be reinvested “to improve the customer offer".

Chairman John von Spreckelsen was confident that the delivery of the refocused group strategy was “already seeing good returns from past years' investment in store refits and product development". And expects sales growth to “gather momentum as this investment continues”.

Somerfield has decided to downsize some of its stores and reduce the average retail store space from 8,700 sq ft to around 6,000 sq ft, to improve sales per square foot and improve profitability from the estate, the company said.

The mid-sized supermarkets will also ensure that convenience remains a “key driver” for its customers.

Their “Makes Sense” range focuses on value for money and Somerfield said its own label now accounts for around £1.2bn of sales.

For the year to April 26 pre-tax profit rose 24% to £34.8m due to net profit of £9m from property disposals. Turnover at the group, which operates the Somerfield and Kwik Save fascias was up to £5bn from £4.96bn last year.

Like-for-like sales growth at Somerfield was 0.9%, with Kwik Save like-for-like sales up 1.2% and group like-for-like sales up 1%.

In the first nine weeks of the current year, Somerfield, Kwik Save and group like-for-likes rose 1.1%.