Edwin Booth

Edwin Booth has outlined plans for Booths’ expansion

Booths has overcome food deflation and tough promoting in the market to post sales and profit growth.

The supermarket, which has 29 outlets in Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire, reported full-year pre-tax profit up 6.9% to £3.95m in the year to 29 March, on sales up just over 1% at £282m.

It said it was now ratcheting up stores and eyeing sales beyond its heartland.

Edwin Booth, chairman, said the period saw some of the most challenging trading conditions of his career. “There has been a dose of food deflation and more and more product on deals, which add to the deflationary effect,” he said.

“There’s been more capacity in the industry. It’s bound to affect us.”

The company said it drove sales ahead of the market by 6.1% last Christmas when it launched its first Christmas Book enabling customers to pre-order for reserving and collecting at their local store.

Booths is currently in negotiations with delivery companies to provide a national delivery service for this year’s Christmas book – the first time it has targeted the entire country.

“There are people outside our trading area who have always said they wish they had a Booths,” said Booth.

“We’ve just had our first order from the Scottish islands… We will learn from that and it is our intention to develop our ecommerce but not along the same lines that everyone else, which puts a lot more cost back into the supermarket model.”

Booth said five new stores would open by 2016 – “the largest and most ambitious expansion in the group’s history”, beginning with Barrowford in December and Hale Barns next April. Others planned are Burscough, St Anne’s and Poulton Le Fylde.