Aldi’s profits dived by nearly a fifth last year as it poured money into new stores and cut prices to boost sales in the UK and Ireland.
Sales at the German discounter rose 11% to reach £11.3bn in the year to December 2018 as it opened more than a store a week and pulled in 800,000 extra shoppers. But pretax profits dived 18% to £182.2m as the retailer invested £530m in expansion and cut prices on 500 items, about a third of its range.
The chief executive, Giles Hurley, said the profits decline was not a concern. “We are a long-term business not like other supermarkets. We are focused on sales, stores, customer numbers and growth,” he said.
More than half of British households shop at Aldi at least occasionally and Hurley said the chain accounted for 40% of the growth in the market. He said it was focused on gaining new shoppers rather than increasing profits.
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