Aldi has suffered a fall in full-year profits after ramping up its investment into its store portfolio and slashing prices.
The discounter said pre-tax profit fell 18% to £182.2m in the year to December 31, 2018, as capital expenditure swelled 19% to £531.1m. Total sales rose 11% to a “record” £11.3bn during the 12-month period.
Much of that growth was delivered by new store openings. Aldi is opening shops at a rapid rate and also invested £127m into its ‘Project Fresh’ strategy to revamp its existing stores during the year. The refits dedicate more space to the grocer’s fresh food proposition, which now accounts for around 50% of its sales.
But Aldi said it would invest a further £1bn in 2019 and 2020 and is focusing its growth plans on the Greater London region. It currently operates 45 stores within the M25 – including eight of its smaller Aldi Local stores – and wants to increase that footprint to 100 locations by the end of 2025.
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