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Interest in Iceland set to increase after strong results

Frozen foods retailer Iceland today reported a 14.8% rise in annual profit to £155.5 million in the year to March 2011. The retailer has out-performed many of its rivals and the news is likely to increase interest in the business from potential buyers.

CITY & CORPORATE

Interest in Iceland set to increase after strong results

Frozen foods retailer Iceland today reported a 14.8% rise in annual profit to £155.5 million in the year to March 2011. The retailer has out-performed many of its rivals and the news is likely to increase interest in the business from potential buyers.

Sales increased 5.9% to £2.4 billion and like-for-like sales grew by 2.1%.

Iceland has benefitted from the economic downturn as consumers turn to frozen food in a bid to save money. The chain said the strong performance was also due in part to its policy of rounding up its prices to full pounds which makes it easier for shoppers to keep track of how much they are spending when in store. 

Founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker commented: “The key to our success remains simple - offering customers the best everyday value in frozen foods and for their daily purchases of grocery and chilled foods."

Morrisons has been reported to be interested in buying the chain whilst Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have all indicated they might consider buying a number of the stores. Iceland operates  742 Iceland stores and 54 Cooltrader shops in the UK.

However, Malcolm Walker is said to be keen to regain control and currently owns a 23% stake along with the management. He has said repeatedly that he would like to see the chain stay independent. The chain is being sold by creditors of the failed Icelandic bank Landsbanki. 

The 20,000-plus staff company was recently named as one of the best 20 large companies to work for in Britain.

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