Discount grocer Colruyt’s pre-tax profits rose 8 per cent to €549m (£467m) in the year to March 31, missing forecasts of €559m (£475m). Total sales increased 11.2 per cent to E6.3bn (£5.35bn), in line with forecasts.

The retailer said: “Despite the economic crisis the Colruyt Group continues to invest in future growth.” It said operating margin continued to narrow because
of a “substantial increase in personnel costs”.