Business Irish

Thursday 18 October 2018

Aldi continues growth in Ireland and UK as profits rise to €244m

Ireland boss Giles Hurley.
Ireland boss Giles Hurley.

Gordon Deegan

Discount supermarket giant Aldi last year enjoyed exponential revenue growth in Ireland and the UK as its pre-tax profits increased marginally to £214m (€244m).

The German store continued its expansion in Ireland and the UK in 2016.

The new accounts from Aldi Stores Ltd show that combined revenues for the two countries increased from £7.7bn to £8.7bn.

Numbers employed by the group last year increased by more than 2,000 to 30,116.

Aldi, which is headed up in this country by managing director Giles Hurley, opened its first supermarket in Ireland in 1999. Acccording to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel, Aldi increased its sales by 2.8pc in the past year with Aldi having a 11.6pc share in the grocery market here.

Last year, Aldi announced its plans to open 20 stores here over the next three years on top of the then 128 stores it operated here.

Aldi, which does not disclose its sales or profits in Ireland, last year recorded a 17pc drop in operating profits in Ireland and the UK combined, going from £255.58m to £211.27m.

However, net interest receivable of £6.7m last year compared to net interest payable of £43.37m in 2015 resulted in the company recording the increase in the pre-tax profit.

Underlining the group's ambitions to secure even greater market share in Ireland and the UK, Aldi last year invested £536m in the acquisition of properties to increase the network of stores.

This resulted in the opening of a further 74 new stores in Ireland and the UK last year and this followed 76 new store openings in 2015.

The company did not pay a dividend last year.

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".

The firm had shareholder funds totalling £2.3bn last year that includes accumulated profits of £1.13bn.

The firm's cash last year declined from £170m to £90m as the group continued to invest in its store and distribution network and the repayment of loans which has reduced the group's external risks.

The filings show staff costs last year increased from £596m to £707m.

Directors were paid £3.93m and the highest-paid director received £1.89m in emoluments and pension contributions.

The profit last year takes account of £146m in non-cash depreciation and £68.8m in operating lease rentals.

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