Iceland earnings dip 8.7% amid plans for 50 new stores

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Iceland expansion
// Iceland’s earnings before tax slipped 8.7% to £140.1m in the year to March 29
// Total revenue up 4.5%
// Iceland plans to open 50 more stores in the current financial year

Iceland has reported that its full-year earnings have been weighed down by a “disappointing” performance in the first half of the year, amid expansion plans.

The frozen food grocer’s earnings before tax slipped 8.7 per cent to £140.1 million in the year to March 29, which Iceland blames on increased staffing costs after the rise in the national living wage, higher distribution costs and its sales performance during the first six months of the year.

Total revenue rose by 4.5 per cent after adjusting for an extra trading week, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 8.7 per cent to £140 million thanks to a weaker first half.

Meanwhile, cash flow fell to £140 million from £200 million during the period.

However, Iceland said it plans to open 50 more stores in the current financial year, of which 34 will be under its Food Warehouse brand.

“We remain committed to making bond redemptions, notably of the £45 million of floating rate notes due in July 2020, from internally generated cash flow,” Iceland said.

“We are confident of our ability to trade successfully through any likely future scenario,” it added.

Furthermore, the grocer aims to expand at a similar rate of expansion to German discounters Aldi and Lidl, having opened 43 new shops in the year to March.

By the end of March, Iceland had 90 outlets across the UK.

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