Discount supermarket Aldi has pledged to open 50 new stores in the UK this year after earning a record profits haul and boosting its market share.
The retailer is increasingly opening in affluent locations such as Chancellor George Osborne’s constituency in Knutsford, Cheshire, with its 500th UK store due to open in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, next month.
The UK’s fastest-growing supermarket said fresh meat and vegetable sales are soaring as household budgets are squeezed by rising bills. It recorded £157.9 million of UK pre-tax profits in 2012, up 124% on a year earlier, according to figures published today at Companies House. Revenues surged more than 40% to £3.9 billion after luring more than a million extra customers during the year.
Its expansion plans contrast with some of its “Big Four” rivals, with market leader Tesco and number four player Morrisons calling time on the supermarket space race. Aldi opened 34 new stores in 2012 at a cost of £116.5 million, and is on track to add another 50 this year, creating 6,000 extra jobs. The retailer, which started out in Germany, in 1913, said “polarisation” in the grocery market is driving its growth alongside upmarket chain Waitrose.