Frozen food retailer Iceland saw its full-year earnings slip in 2018 on the back of a challenging first half of the year.
The group reported that its Adjusted EBITDA was £140.1 million in the year to 29 March, a fall of £17.0 million, or 8.7%.
In addition to a poor sales performance, the UK-based retailer said that it was impacted by increased staffing costs, increased distribution costs, investment in price, and the timing of marketing expenditure.
Iceland Group Chief Executive Tarsem Dhaliwal said that the group will fight through uncertainty and adversity to focus on its investment plans.
The retailer has been heavily investing in expanding its store footprint, as well as enhancing the appeal of existing stores and growing its online business.
In Ireland, it added five new stores during the year, leaving a total of 26 stores across the country by the end of the year.
The company confirmed that its plans for expansion in the country are ‘on track’.
Iceland also confirmed it wants to find new channels to sell its products through The Range in the UK, which it formed a strategic alliance with last year to see its food products made available in The Range’s home, garden and leisure stores.
Iceland highlighted two of its sustainability initiatives which collected a lot of attention last year, namely its pledge to end the use of palm oil ingredients in its own-label range, and its promise to remove plastic from this range by the end of 2023.
The retailer launched a TV commercial with its palm oil pledge which was prohibited from airing due to legal issues. The would-be ad went viral online and became the most-watched Christmas ad of all time.
“Our sustainability initiatives over the last year have substantially raised public awareness of Iceland and enhanced respect for our brand and its values, and we are confident that this can only enhance our prospects in the longer term,” Dhaliwal concluded.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.