Aldi profits dip in UK and Ireland as revenues surge

Discount retailer Aldi has made a pre-tax profit of £250.6m (€340.4m) in the UK and Ireland as it continues to increase its market share in both countries.

The company’s latest accounts show profits dipped by £10m despite a £1.6bn, or 31%, surge in revenues compared to the previous year.

Group turnover for 2014 came in at £6.89bn compared to £5.27bn for the prior 12 months.

Spiralling administrative expenses, which almost doubled to £80.7m in the period, left the retailer with a smaller operating profit.

Gains made from the disposal of fixed assets swelled its coffers by an additional €3.2m, however.

On the other side of the ledger, the group spent £438m on fixed assets, largely premises, to increase its footprint in both countries, which saw an additional 54 stores opening.

Its store network in Ireland grew by eight last year, with three in Cork alone, including its landmark store on the ground floor of the country’s tallest building, The Elysian.

The group operates across two separate regions in Ireland with one co-ordinated from its regional distribution centre in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, with a similar site in Naas, Co Kildare, the focal point of the other region.

Five of the stores opened nationally last year were in the Cork-controlled region, which covers Galway, Mayo, Kilkenny, Wexford, and the six counties in Munster.

The company also flagged its intention last year to open 10 stores here this year, creating more than 250 jobs in the process.

The average number of people employed across its operation in the UK and Ireland last year was 7,000.

The latest Kantar Worldpanel supermarket figures show Aldi posted a 3.6% jump in sales over the past 12 months while its market share increased to 8.7%.

In the UK, Aldi sales surged by more than 17% in the three months to the end of September to hold a 5.6% share of the market.

It was also announced last month that its UK arm was to make its first foray into ecommerce with an online offering.

Aldi paid an interim dividend of £19.74m during the year.


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