Henderson Group, the owner of Spar NI, increased sales by 8.5% last year to £759m.
Pre-tax profits at John Henderson Holdings, which encompasses its retail, wholesale, foodservice and property divisions, fell 1.5% to just over £20m for the year to 31 December. However, operating profits rose 10% to £26.2m.
The company said the increase in sales was down to a strong performance in fresh and ambient grocery and increased footfall and basket spend at the stores it supplies.
In its accounts filed recently at Companies House, Hendersons added it had delivered strong like-for-like growth across all subsidiaries, high customer retention rates, the recruitment of new customers and investment into its company-owned stores and retail partners.
Over the course of the year, Hendersons added 11 stores to its company-owned estate and 25 stores from competitor symbol groups to its wholesale division.
Foodservice grew by 17.8% on the previous year, performing strongly across food to go and independent accounts.
Henderson Group CFO Ron Whitten heralded the results as “a tremendous performance”.
He told The Grocer there were plans in the pipeline for a further Eurospar store rollout as Hendersons sought to maximise growth in rural areas where the mults had a weaker offering.
“We’re seeing significant growth in our Eurospar format of 5,000 sq ft, They’re showing over 8% like-for-like growth so this is a lucrative channel for us. We’re actively looking for opportunities where we can expand this,” said Whitten. “The purpose is to provide a value for money offering and outdo peripheral multiple sites by providing good value for money on the doorstep, where we Tesco price match on 240-plus lines.”