Aldi store

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Aldi has boosted sales to a record high as the cost-of-living crisis pushed more shoppers through the doors of the discounters.

Revenues at the chain in the UK and Ireland rose by 14% (or almost £2bn) to £15.5bn in the 12 months to 31 December 2022 - a new record for the group since in the launched in the country in 1990.

Operating profits also increased almost three-fold to £178.7m as margins bounced back from 2021’s 11-year Covid-related low of 0.4% to 1.2%.

Aldi UK boss Giles Hurley said said the way Britain shops for groceries has been “transformed” by the cost-of-living crisis.

It comes after the latest Kantar data earlier this month showed Aldi sales growing at 17.1%, with market share now sitting at 10.1% as the discounter remained bigger than Morrisons.

“Although inflation is easing, households are still under real pressure from higher living costs,” Hurley added. “As a result, Britain is shopping very differently to how it did 18 months ago – fewer trips, more own label products, and switching supermarkets in search of better value.

“What we’re seeing is a new generation of savvy shoppers who’ve turned their back on traditional, full-price supermarkets in favour of transparent, low prices, which is what we’re famous for. That’s why we’re still welcoming more and more customers through our doors.”

Aldi pledged to invest a further £1.4bn in the UK over the next two years as it aimed to add another 500 stores to its more than 1,000-strong portfolio, as well as improving existing stores and technology infrastructure to support growth.

The chain said it had already ploughed more than £350m into lowering prices so far this year across 650 items, with further reductions expected in the run up to Christmas.

“There are still communities across the UK that don’t have easy access to quality, low price groceries and that’s something we want to address through our expansion, with plans to increase our investment even further over the next two years to £1.4bn in new and improved stores and distribution centres, creating thousands of jobs for our colleagues and more opportunities for our 5,000 British suppliers,” Hurley said.

Morning update

The FTSE 100 opened down 0.1% to 7,679.28pts this morning.

It’s a quiet start to the week on the LSE for fmcg, with early risers including Glanbia, up 5% to €15.86, THG, up 2.6% to 70.9p, and Naked Wines, up 2.4% to 59.6p.

Ocado continued its disastrous decline - following a 20% drop last week on the back of a broker downgrade - falling another 1.9% to 678.4p.

Other fallers included Deliveroo, down 2.8% to 112.4p, and Cranswick, down 1.6% to 3,549.9p.

This week in the City

It’s looking like a much slower week for news on the stock exchange, with the exception of a busy day tomorrow.

Fresh from a £143m takeover offer last week, Finsbury Food Group will release its full-year results, with personal care group PZ Cussons also reporting preliminaries and Irn-Bru maker AG Barr putting out interims.

Outside the markets, Morrisons is due to issue a trading update on Thursday.