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Henderson Group profits soar by 11 per cent - The Irish News
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Business

Henderson Group profits soar by 11 per cent

The Henderson Group has announced record levels of sales, investment and jobs growth over the past year in Northern Ireland. Pictured are Patrick Doody, sales and marketing director and chief financial officer Ron Whitten
Gareth McKeown

Retail giant the Henderson Group has reported an 11 per cent increase in pre-tax profits over the past year

The local owners of the Spar, Eurospar and Vivo brands in Northern Ireland has reported record levels of sales, investment and jobs growth in the year ending December 31 2016.

In spite of competitive pressures within the grocery and foodservice industries the Henderson Group, has increased its turnover by six per cent to £699.3m, while profit before tax rose by 11 per cent to £23.87m for the year.

The group's Barista Bar coffee brand, available in 260 of its retail stores, also had an exceptional year with sales up by 30 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

The company, which operates out its Mallusk head office said that an ongoing co-investment strategy with its retail partners to establish a market leading portfolio of supermarket, forecourt and convenience stores has boosted the strong sales performance across all its brand formats. In addition, fuel volumes grew by almost nine per cent, driving increasing footfall to the stores.

Grocery sales are also up by three and a half percent, driven by an eight per cent growth in fresh food as well as increasing footfall and basket spend.

While in terms of employment the local family business has seen 270 new jobs created in 12 months, an increase of nine per cent, bringing the total number of staff to 3099 across the north.

Chief financial officer Ron Whitten was understandably delighted with the company's growth over the past year.

“Strong like for like growth across all subsidiaries, high retention rates of existing retailers, recruitment of new retailers, coupled with significant investment by the group, directly within our company owned stores as well as with its retail partners, has delivered additional sales of £40m.”

Patrick Doody, sales and marketing noted the company's ongoing investment in retail, infrastructure and employment, which saw16 new retail stores open in 2016

“It was also another record year of investment by the Group, with a spend of over £34m in store acquisitions, store refurbishments and head office infrastructure, designed to future proof the business to meet consumer and retailer demands going forward,” he said.

In total four companies make up the Henderson Group - Henderson Wholesale, Henderson Retail, Henderson Group Property and Henderson Foodservice. The firm is 91st on the latest 2016 Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 league table of the U.K's private companies, while it ranks sixth in the Ulster Business Top 100 Companies 2016.

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