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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Iceland sales back under pressure
Iceland store
Sales are sliding at Iceland
Iceland-owner the Big Food Group has reported a rise in annual profits but said recent sales have slipped.

The company, which also owns the Booker cash-and-carry business, said like-for-like sales across the group were down 0.8% in the six weeks to 14 May.

Sales at its Iceland food stores - which are currently being refurbished - were down 1.9%.

Pre-tax profits before exceptional items for the year to 2 April were up 35% to 50.1m ($91.2m).

Despite the disappointing sales news, the company said its profits margins remained solid and it would not be changing this year's profit forecast.

Store revamp

Big Food Group (BFG) has said it is planning to accelerate its refurbishment programme for the Iceland chain.

So far it has revamped 142 of the 748 outlets, and another 150 should be overhauled this year.

The performance of the refurbished stores has been "very encouraging", BFG said, and has "offset the impact of increased competition and price deflation on stores awaiting renewal".

The group said it was still interested in UK grocery supplier Londis, but would study an offer from Irish wholesaler Musgrave for the company before making a decision on whether to bid as well.




SEE ALSO:
Increased sales at Iceland stores
08 Jan 04  |  Business
Iceland owner's profits fall
29 May 03  |  Business


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