Aldi released more barnstorming results today – a pre-tax profit rise of 124% and a 40% boost in sales, thanks to a million new customers. The discounter has also hit record market share. It’s a huge turnaround from the operating loss of more than £21m Aldi UK revealed in 2009.
How Aldi has delivered these impressive gains since 2009 has been well documented by The Grocer – and we caught up with Aldi UK’s joint managing directors Matthew Barnes and Roman Heini for this week’s results as well. So, can they keep it going?
Aldi’s bosses themselves say their rampant sales momentum can’t stay that way forever – but if they can keep opening new stores, allowing more shoppers to take advantage of their offer, it won’t slow down for a while yet.
Sales and profits aside, perhaps the most interesting number isn’t even financial. Aldi revealed that for the first time ever, over 50% of its total sales are from fresh produce. It’s doing staggering numbers on fresh meat – sales are up 60% for the third year running. Fruit and vegetables are up 40%.
It’s not hard to fathom why when you look at the prices. Take the price of a 100% British rump steak at Aldi (£10.73 per kg) and compare it to Tesco standard rump steak (£17.00 per kg) and it offers an insight into why sales at Aldi are rocketing and sales at Tesco (all will be revealed on Wednesday) have stalled – particularly when there is no disparity on quality. Shoppers need to save money but they still want their treats.
The price of steak is a simple, isolated example of why Aldi is performing so well (and Lidl, for that matter), but there are many more – revealed in our interview with its joint GMDs. Their lack of complacency shows that however much the range at Aldi UK has changed, the relentlessly efficient discounter spirit remains. Good news for Aldi – but bad news for its rivals.