Spar trolleys

The number of Spar stores in the UK declined in 2013

Spar International enjoyed sales growth of 4.1% on a constant currency basis to €32.2bn in the year ending 31 December 2013.

Spar, which operates in 35 countries, said today growth across the business was a result of a significant strategic focus for the brand on new and emerging markets. Spar in China, Russia and the Middle East in particular were of interest for expansion.

“2013 was a year of sustained global expansion for Spar. We continued to enlarge our footprint in developing markets while also growing market share in most of the core European countries,” said Spar international MD Gordon Campbell.

“Retail sales for 2013 show the ongoing attraction of the Spar brand for independent retail operators across the globe,” he added.

Spar China and Spar Russia in particular showed good growth, with sales up 19% and 18% respectively.

In the UK, Spar said own brand had achieved “excellent results” throughout the year, and that the UK had continued to focus on initiatives such as £1 price marks and dinner deals. Digital marketing and TV advertising had also been areas of focus for the business.

Spar blamed pressure on consumer spending for a 1.8% decline in UK retail sales in the year ending 31 December 2013.

The company said UK store numbers fell from 2,417 to 2,380 during the period, reducing retail selling space by 2.8%. Sales in the UK were €3bn, down from €3.1bn in 2012.

Latest numbers

However, Spar said in the financial year ending 26 April 2014 - for which the UK business measures its performance - it had actually seen retail sales grow 1.05%. Sales per square foot were up 2.2% while like-for-like sales were up 3.6%.

Store numbers had also declined to 2,323 in the year to 26 April.

Updated at 12.40 on 28 May with updated UK figures from Spar.