Iceland upbeat after year of major investment
Frozen food retailer Iceland increased its sales by 2.7% to £2.711 billion in the year to 29 March 2014.
Adjusted EBITDA excluding exceptional items was £202.2 million compared £226.3 million in the previous year as the retailer invested in opening new stores, launching an online shopping service and expanding in overseas markets.
On a like-for-like basis sales were flat in the period.
Iceland opened 46 new stores in the UK to take the total number of shops to 833 at the year end. It also launched an online shopping service which was extended in November 2013 with the launch of Iceland Appliances in partnership with AO.com.
During the year the year, the retailer acquired previously franchised Iceland stores in the Republic of Ireland and entered strategic export markets in Africa and the Middle East. It also opened a further two stores in the Czech Republic where it was operating in three locations by the year end.
Iceland chairman and chief executive Malcolm Walker said: “This has been a year of major investment for Iceland both at home and overseas. In the UK we accelerated our expansion programme with the opening of 46 new stores and also rolled out our online shopping offer to 280 stores. Overseas we began to serve important new export markets in South Africa and the Middle East, acquired the formerly franchised Iceland stores in the Republic of Ireland and opened two additional stores in the Czech Republic.”
Iceland created 1,500 new jobs in the period and expects to create 1,250 in the current year as it opens up to 40 new stores in the UK.
Looking ahead Walker said: “We will continue to invest to provide value to our customers, and identify and exploit opportunities for further development of the Iceland brand internationally.“
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