Iceland Food boasts return to like-for-like sales growth

Helen Cahill
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The retailer plans a new store roll-out in the year ahead (Source: Iceland Foods)

Iceland Foods boasted a return to like-for-like sales growth today after it invested in its marketing and the quality of its products.

The figures

Total sales grew 4.4 per cent to £2.79bn for the year ended 25 March, up from £2.68bn the year before. This translated into a like-for-like sales growth of two per cent, a turnaround from the 2.7 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in 2016.

And, sales accelerated towards the end of the year, up by 4.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the fourth quarter.

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Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased 6.3 per cent to £160m as compared to £150.5m the year before.

Why it's interesting

Iceland's turnaround comes after the supermarket put out a marketing campaign, titled "Power of Frozen", to try to upend shoppers' views of frozen food. It has also been improving the range quality of its products by investing £2m in a new development kitchen at Iceland's Deeside headquarters.

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The retailer warned today that sterling's devaluation had put pressure on food prices, as well as on the costs of packaging and distribution. However, Iceland said it was working with suppliers to keep costs down, and that it was confident it would meet its earnings targets for the year ahead.

What Iceland said

Iceland founder and executive chairman Malcolm Walker said: "The set of strategic initiatives we began in 2015, with the aim of differentiating Iceland, changing consumer perceptions and so restoring growth to our business, bore fruit in the year under review.

"We reinforced our value credentials through a programme of outstanding value deals, made our stores more relevant and accessible to customers by extending and standardising their opening hours, and continued to open profitable new stores under both The Food Warehouse and Iceland fascias."

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