Farmfoods sees surge in annual sales and profit

 
Kasmira Jefford
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FROZEN food discounter Farmfoods has reported a surge in annual sales and profits as Britons increasingly searching for ways to cut spending on their weekly grocery shop.

The supermarket, which is owned by the publicity shy Herd family, said pre-tax profits jumped by 38 per cent to £20.8m in 2014 compared with £15.1m the previous year.

This was driven by a 18 per cent increase in revenue to £851.6m, up from £721.4m in 2013, the latest accounts published on Companies House show.

The Scottish retailer was founded in 1955 as a meat manufacturing business and opened its first experimental shop in Aberdeen in the early 1970s.

It expanded outside of its Scottish heartland in the 1970s and now has over 300 shops across the UK.

Staff numbers increased last year from 3,891 to 4,779 , pushing up the wage bill by 24 per cent to £65.7m.

Britain’s big four retailers have been fighting to stem the flow of customers increasingly shopping at their cheaper rivals by launching a raft of price cuts on everyday products, simplifying their ranges and cutting costs.

While Farmfoods holds only around 0.7 per cent of the market, Kantar data shows that the retailer was at one point last year the fastest growing retailer, with sales up 44 per cent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to 2 February.

The group declared an interim dividend of £4 last year totalling £300,000, which was down on £9.7m the previous year.