Frozen food retailer Heron Foods has recorded a rise in pre-tax profits and turnover for the year to December 26, 2009.

The retailer reported a pre-tax profit of £7.8m for the year, up from £5.3m. Sales were £141m, up from £123m the previous year.

In the report, the retailer said it had continued to “perform well”. It said its new distribution centre and head office at Melton, East Yorkshire, became fully operational during the year and the new facility “will enable the company to reduce costs and expand the business significantly in the medium term”.

The retailer, which currently has 160 shops in the North and Midlands, said that it wants to relocate its existing stores to “more favourable locations” where possible and “intends to continue opening new stores whenever these become available”.

Last year Heron acquired about 20 former Woolworths stores to expand the business.

Heron said it was continuing to invest in its existing estate to maximise returns.

Frozen food retailers including Heron, Iceland and Farmfoods have benefited from the recession, offering value prices.

Frozen food is becoming more popular, since there is little waste, compared with fresh food.

Privately owned Heron was established by the Heuck family.