Musgrave reports eighth year of consecutive profit

Musgrave Group, which owns MBL, has reported its eighth year of consecutive profit growth.

The Irish-owned multinational wholesaler achieved a pre-tax profit of euro;81m for the year ended 31 December 2006, up 14.2% on the previous year, with turnover up 4.5% to euro;4.6bn.

In Great Britain, the company’s Budgens and Londis retail customers achieved sales of euro;2.6bn, and MBL’s plan to sell off all the Budgens stores to independent retailers is on track.

There are now 108 independently owned Budgens and 74 still to be sold.

Commenting on the outlook for 2007, group chief executive Chris Martin said: “We are witnessing the growing success of our model. In Great Britain this is illustrated by the success of the sale of the company-owned Budgens stores to independent retailers who are attracted by our business model. There has been interest from people outside the retail industry as well as individuals who currently own their own non-affiliated convenience stores and members of other symbol groups. The transfer process is continuing and it is expected that the remaining corporate stores will be all sold by 2008.

“Like-for-like growth of 5% by the divested stores shows that by being part of the Budgens group, and by leveraging on their local knowledge, these retailers can succeed in a challenging market.”

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