German supermarket chain Aldi, which operates thousands of stores across the world, unveiled double-digit growth in its UK and Ireland sales in the 2016 full year on Monday as more British consumers switched over to buying its products.
The business, which operates 726 stores in the UK and employs 29,000 people there, said that sales in the UK and Ireland had been 8.74 billion pounds ($11.83 billion) in the full year 2016, up 13.5% from the prior year, according to a statement published on its website. It said that the boost to sales was driven by more than one million customers switching to Aldi over the 12 month period ended December 31.
Operating profit, by contrast, contracted by 17% to 211.2 million pounds over the same time frame which Aldi said was due to the company’s continued investment in prices and infrastructure.
Going forward, the grocer said that it plans to introduce over 160 new products to its festive range, including a Sirloin of Beef with Porcini, Shallot and White Truffle Stuffing and a Dressed Side of Salmon. It said that a further 150 stores would open next year under its ‘Project Fresh’ initiative – a 300 million pounds investment programme aimed at creating more in-store space for fresh, chilled and food-to-go ranges as well as wider aisles. And, by the end of 2018, it said that a total of 250 stores would have launched in the new format.
“Our growth is accelerating, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of new customers switching their shop to Aldi,” Matthew Barnes, chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “This is happening right across the UK and is all down to a simple, straightforward commitment – products comparable to the leading brands and supermarket premium ranges at the lowest prices in Britain.
“We’re doing everything we can to insulate customers from those cost increases, making sure our prices are the lowest in the UK, every day of the year,” he added.