BWG reported a 8.0% sales increase of which 2.5% was like-for-like growth, in the six months of its financial year to the end of March.
BWG's owner South Africa's Spar Group said that its Ireland-based operations posted profit before tax of €16.1 million (R256.4 million) during the period, which it attributed to a 'strong performance in the convenience sector.'
According to its recently published half-year results, its Spar business reported turnover growth of 3.8%, while Mace was up 3.7%.
'The threat of Brexit to the Irish economy has temporarily diminished, but the shadow of uncertainty still lingers,' Spar Group said in a statement.
'Management remains positively cautious in its outlook for the remainder of the year and believe that adequate plans are in place to respond to any market changes, thereby ensuring that Spar Ireland will again deliver results in line with expectation.'
In Ireland, through its ownership of the BWG Group, the Spar Group controls approximately 12% of the grocery market share through its convenience channel including Spar, Eurospar, Mace, Londis, Gala, and BWG Foodservice.
The groups BWG Foodservice arm announced record sales of over €100 million for 2018, an increase of 12.5% on the previous period, in March this year.
The milestone marks the eighth year of consecutive growth for BWG Group’s Foodservice division.
In addition to strong organic growth in sales, the fast growing BWG Foodservice business also completed the acquisition of Corrib Food Products during the period, which will increase its annualised revenues to over €150 million, the foodservice business said in a statement.
The business is now targeting sales of €200 million by 2022 on the back of continued investment in expanding its end-to-end tailored foodservice solutions across ambient, chilled, and frozen.
Last October, BWG said that it is planning to add 45 new Spar and Eurospar stores to its portfolio over the next two years.
It is believed that the Irish wholesaler and retail grocery franchise operator is planning to invest €25 million in store refurbishments as part of a new strategy for BWG’s Spar network, and its larger-format Eurospar brand.
South African Performance
Overall, in its recent financial results Spar Group, which also operates stores in its native South Africa as well as a host of other African countries, posted a 'strong' performance for the period, with turnover up 8.6% to R54.3 billion (€3.41 billion).
Its Southern Africa business posted turnover growth of 7.7%, with its Tops at Spar liquor stores seeing turnover rise 19.3%.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.