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Annual revenues at Lidl have increased as it continued to attract new shoppers looking to cut down on household spending.

More than 770,000 additional customers shopped at the discounter each week year on year, with £58m switched from the traditional supermarkets to Lidl in the last month, the group said as it published its latest UK accounts at Companies House.

Revenues increased 1.5% to £7.8bn in the year ended 28 February 2022 as the business continued to expand its store estate. Lidl opened an additional 53 shops in the period, ending the year with 918.

It puts sales up 13% on pre-Covid levels, but the accounts don’t give a break down of like-for-like comparisons year on year.

Earnings before interest and tax jumped 80% to £79m, while pre-tax profits ballooned more than 300% from £9.8m to £41.1m.

The accounts don’t give details on the drivers of the profit growth, but the P&L shows ‘other operating income’ for 2021/22 of £74.3m, compared with £51.2m in the previous year.

Lidl GB CEO Ryan McDonnell said: “Our business model is built for the long term and I’m incredibly proud of our continued growth in recent months, which builds on our strong performance across 2021.

“During this time, we’ve made further investments across all areas of our business, building even more stores and distribution centres, hiring more colleagues, increasing pay rates, investing in our British supplier base and contributing to the communities we operate in.”

During the year, Lidl invested £653m in new stores and its Luton and Belvedere distribution centres, as well as opening a new head office in Tolworth.

It completed a £100m ‘Get Fresh’ investment programme, optimising store layouts and creating space for more fresh British produce.

Lidl also invested £10m increasing hourly wages from a minimum of £9 to £9.30 per hour outside of London and £10.55 to £10.75 within the M25, directly benefitting more than 19,000 employees.

Since the financial year end, the group raised hourly pay rates for the second time to £10.90 outside of London and £11.95 within the M25, totalling a combined investment of £50m.

McDonnell added: “As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, we are more focused than ever on supporting our colleagues, our customers and the communities we serve.

“This year alone we have invested £50m raising hourly pay rates making us the highest paying retailer, we’ve donated five million meals, and we’re serving over 770,000 more customers a week compared to last year.

“As a discount supermarket we are in the best possible position to support people through these challenging times, and it’s our absolute priority that we continue to do so.”

Morning update

Finsbury Food Group has continued its “robust” financial performance into the new year, with sales in the first four months up 15.7% to £122.8m.

The trading update ahead of this morning’s AGM noted the rise was driven by a 1.1% increase in volumes and price recovery of 14.6%.

“Our retail business continues to perform well, foodservice continued to bounce back, and our overseas division continued to see strong growth,” non-executive chairman Peter Baker will tell shareholders at the meeting.

He will add that the macro-economic and cost inflation headwinds faced throughout the opening months of the new financial year had been at levels in excess of those experienced in FY22.

“These are set to persist for the remainder of the year, making it difficult to predict exactly how the rest of the year will unfold, however, we continue to mitigate them through revised commercial arrangements, operational improvements and other supply chain and overhead initiatives. Whilst it is too early to categorise it as a long-term trend, we are starting to see a shift in consumer behaviour as they look to spend in less expensive retail channels and are seeking greater value for money which should accelerate food retailers’ Own Label sales. We believe our market position in these channels and the diversification of our product range will stand us in good stead as we navigate this challenging economic environment.”

The FTSE 100 opened 0.3% lower today to 7,327.64pts.

Shares in Finsbury Food fell 0.3% to 90.7p on the warning of further inflationary pain to come.

Other early fallers inclued Devro, down 4.3% to 178.2p, Naked Wines, down 3.5% to 101.3p, Science in Sport, down 3.5% to 14p, and McBride, down 3.3% to 23.4p.

Greencore, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, THG and Hilton Food Group are among the risers, up 2.7% to 71p, 2.3% to €49.05, 2.1% to 68.8p and 1.6% to 560.7p respectively.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 fell back 0.2% to 7,355.16pts as the UK’s inflation rate hit a 41-year high.

Shares in Premier Foods sank 2.5% to 108.2p despite a positive first half at the Mr Kipling and Oxo maker. Sales and profits increased, while net debt came down, but investors fretted about ongoing input cost inflation plaguing the sector.

Deliveroo also plunged 5.2% to 94.4p after the group announced it was putting its Australian operation into administration and exiting the country.

Grocery tech firm Eagle Eye slipped 2.5% to 563p after raising £7m from a placing at 555p per share to fund an acquisition in France.

Elsewhere, tech stocks THG and Ocado came under renewed pressure, with the former down 6.6% to 68.2p and the latter down another 5.7% to 726p.

Risers for the day included Glanbia, Haleon and Virgin Wines UK, up 0.5% to €10.88, 3.3% to 288.4p and 2.2% to 70p respectively.