Aldi invests €1bn in Irish and UK retail sector as revenues surge
Discount supermarket giant, Aldi last year enjoyed exponential revenue growth in Ireland and the UK but pre-tax profits fell by 14.5pc to £212m (€234m).
The German store continued its expansion in Ireland and the UK in 2015 and new accounts from Aldi Stores Ltd show that revenues for the two countries rose from £6.89bn to £7.7bn.
Numbers employed by the group last year increased by 4,000 to 27,963.
Aldi, which opened its first supermarket in Ireland in 1999, has now around 129 stores here. Last year it announced the creation of a further 400 jobs here.
The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel shows that Aldi increased its sales by 5.4pc in the latest period with Aldi having a 11.4pc share in the grocery market here.
Over the past three years, Aldi and Lidl's market share has grown by 7pc to a combined 23pc share at a cost to the larger players in the business.
Aldi, which does not disclose its sales or profits in Ireland, last year recorded a 1.8pc drop in operating profits in Ireland and the UK, going from £260.38m to £255.58m.
Underling the group's ambitions to secure even more market share in Ireland and the UK, in the past two years Aldi has invested £974m (€1.07bn), including £536m last year, in the acquisition of properties to increase the network of stores.
This resulted in the opening of a further 76 new stores in Ireland and the UK last year and this followed 54 new store openings in 2014.
The figures show that £43.37m from interest charges reduced the firm's profits to £212m.
According to the directors' report, "during the year, the group continued to make significant investment in expanding its business, opening new stores and extending and refurbishing a number of existing stores and preparing for further growth in the future".
Shareholder funds totalled £2bn last year that includes accumulated profits of £884m.
The firm's cash last year declined from £356m to £161m.
Staff costs last year increased from £507.5m to £596.68m.