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'Challenging' UK Business Impacts Musgrave Group Full-Year Profits

Musgrave Group has said that 'challenges' in its UK business has impacted its full year performance, with profit before tax and exceptional items down 16% to €60 million. The group released its full-year results today, for the year to 31 December 2013. 

Musgrave reported sales of €4.8 billion across its Ireland, UK and Spain businesses, which it said were 'in line' with last year on a constant currency basis. Net debt was reduced by €19 million to €121 million.

In Ireland, Musgrave said that all its brands 'out-performed the flat Irish grocery market', with SuperValu posting 1.1% growth, Centra rising 3.5%, Daybreak up 3.8% and Marketplace up 5.3%.

'The investment made in these brands over the past three years through our ‘Winning in the New World’ strategy has delivered significant benefits,' it said. The year in question marked the announcement of the integration of Superquinn into SuperValu.

In the UK, where it operates the Budgens and Londis franchises, the group saw its sales decline by 3%. It said that the UK business 'pursued a growth strategy but this has not delivered profitable sales', noting that it is 'addressing the performance [of the UK operation] and implementing fundamental improvements to our brand disciplines and ways of working'.

It announced a writedown of €131 million worth of assets in the UK, including all of the remaining goodwill of €78 million arising on the original acquisition of Budgens and Londis.

“All our markets continued to experience difficult economic conditions in 2013, impacting consumer spending," said Chris Martin, Musgrave Group chief executive. "In a flat Irish grocery market our brands increased sales and out-performed the market. SuperValu was up 1.1%, Centra up 3.5%, Daybreak up 3.8% and MarketPlace up 5.3% reflecting the investment made in these brands over the past three years through our ‘Winning in the New World’ strategy."

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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