Londis happy with 62% growth in profits

CONVENIENCE retailer Londis’ 2006 financial year got off to a buoyant start following a 62% growth in company profits last year.

The group held their Annual Retailer Conference at Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny yesterday, where delegates heard that the company is on target to achieve its profit growth objectives with sales growth through the Londis central buying system increasing by 7%.

The share price on the grey market has risen by 30% to €62.59 from 2004’s share price of €48.15. However, the rate of increase has slowed, since April ‘06 it has risen just 8 cents when it stood at €62.51.

Joint chief executive of ADM Londis, Stephen O’Riordan said: “Despite the recent abolition of the Groceries Order, the convenience market is performing strongly demonstrating consumer dynamics which are very much in favour of independent retailers.

“Rising business costs remain a significant challenge to the sector and we would like to see the Government make every effort to address these real causes of inflation,” he said.

Chief economist of Friends First Group, Jim Power said Irish consumer dynamics look favourable for the medium term, but the nature of retail activities will continue to undergo radical changes due to a combination of regulatory changes, increased competition and greater consumer awareness. “The flawed abolition of the groceries order and the changes to retail planning guidelines are indicative of official attitudes towards the retail sector. The imperative for our policy makers is to address the seriously escalating cost of doing business in Ireland, rather than focusing on populist policy prescriptions,” he said.

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