// Costcutter profits increased by over £9m in 52 weeks to December 31
// The convenience retailer has over 1500 stores across the UK
Costcutter has seen its profits rise in what the convenience retailer described as “one of its best-ever years”.
EBITDA increased by over £9 million in the 52 weeks to December 31, to finish at £5.1 million for the financial year.
Costcutter, which has over 1500 independent stores across the UK, said the growth was thanks to a surge in total sales, which rose by 10 per cent to £426 million.
Costcutter said that fresh produce sales grew at “a faster rate than any other category” during the period.
Across its ranges, Costcutter reported a 22 per cent increase in non-tobacco sales across the first four months of 2020.
“Since lockdown, we’ve responded even more to what consumer’s needs and demands are: much less food to go, much less single impulse purchases and we’re seeing significant increases in fresh food; edible grocery and frozen,” Costcutter chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer said.
“We’ve been emphasising less range in one area and more in another, and constantly updating our advice for our partners”.
She added that since the pandemic struck the UK, Costcutter had seen a rise in customers using its home delivery service with Uber Eats.
The retailer had launched its own delivery service location from some 200 locations since October 2019.
“We’ve got 100 stores on the platform but because that’s not available everywhere, we’ve learned about home delivery and now have 200 stores offering some other form of home delivery in various ways – be that telephone, working with local authorities to get food to the vulnerable.”
She said 2019 had been an “outstanding year” for the retailer, and added that over the last year Costcutter had “accelerated our investments in our overall retail offer” – namely its Shopper First programme.
When Covid-19 UK death rates were soaring in April, Costcutter installed 20 pop-up stores in NHS hospitals to serve doctors and nurses who were unable to travel to stores.
The retailer said it worked in partnership with food service giant Compass to launch the stores.
It added that the new shops would fill units left by the temporary closure of some non-essential retail spaces across the hospital sites.