Musgrave profits up by 16%

Musgrave Group announced its ninth year of consecutive profit growth for the year to 31 December 2007 yesterday.

Sales were up 6% to €4.9bn and profit before tax surged by 16% to €94m in the 12 months to 31 December 2007.

Commenting on the performance for the year, Chris Martin, Musgrave group chief executive, said: "We delivered a satisfactory set of results for 2007 with retail and wholesale sales increasing. Through our strategy of developing our business for the long term we have worked hard with our retail partners to develop strong brands and a differentiated offer which consumers have responded to.

'This has resulted in strong sales growth in the Republic of Ireland while there were also a number of important developments in the United Kingdom. These included the completion of the sale of Budgens stores to independent retailers 12 months ahead of schedule and the acquisition of J&J Haslett in Northern Ireland. Both are important milestones in the development of the business in the UK.

"Our cash and carry and delivered foodservice business continues to meet the needs of the independent retail and growing foodservice sector through investment in our 'Market Street' concept in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. We will continue to support the growth and development of our cash and carry and delivered foodservices business in 2008.

On the outlook for the Group in 2008 Martin said Musgrave faced a more challenging economic environment but remained confident about its business. "We are continuing to focus on our strategy of delivering long term sustainable growth."

He added: "Although, each of our brands is different there is a common theme to their uniqueness in that they are all rooted in the local community. This means that as well as delivering local services they also support local ownership, local employment and local sourcing.

"For 2008, our investment priorities will be focused on our brands and the people and logistics which support our retail partners enabling them to deliver quality, honestly priced food to consumers everyday".