Belfast Telegraph

Musgrave suffers 7% profit drop

By Symon Ross

Irish retail supplier Musgrave Group has reported a drop in profits blaming difficult trading conditions.

In its financial statement for the year to December 31, 2009, the company reported a 3% fall in overall sales to €4.5bn and pre-tax profits down 7% to €70m.

But despite what it termed "significant challenges" in the Republic's grocery and food service markets, the firm also reduced net debt from €86.2m to €59m.

Group chief executive Chris Martin said it was a "satisfactory performance" that "positions the group well" for the rest of 2010.

Musgrave's performance in Northern Ireland and Great Britain was more positive, with sales of £1.4bn representing growth of 3% on the previous year.

"Our retail brands SuperValu and Centra in Northern Ireland and Budgens and Londis in Great Britain recorded good performances. Our business model for independent, community-centred retail is gaining traction in the UK market," said Mr Martin.

"Our business model is robust and having continued to reduce our debt and invest in infrastructure, we are confident in the long- term future of the business. The plans we have will ensure Musgrave and our independent retailers emerge stronger from the recession with strengthened businesses and a platform for growth."

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