The Musgrave Group, parent company of the Budgens and Londis brands in the UK, has reduced its annual losses according its latest results.

Sales for the financial year ended 27 December 2014 reached €4.6bn with an operating profit of €66m. However after exceptional costs of €70m and amortisation, the loss for the year after tax was €13m. This compares to a loss of €113m in 2013, and the company projects a return to profit in 2015.

Earlier this year, the group agreed to sell its GB operation to Booker, subject to approval from the UK market regulators.

Musgrave is now the leading food retailer in Ireland, the company maintains, with the integration of Superquinn with SuperValu securing a 25% share of the market. SuperValu recorded retail sales in line with last year of €2.6 bn.

Centra consolidated its position as the number one convenience retailer in the market, Musgrave adds, with growth of 3% underpinned by investment in an own brand range of 1,300 Irish sourced products, the introduction of an all-day fresh food range, and value offers to differentiate Centra in the eyes of shoppers.

Commenting on the results, Musgrave Group chief executive Chris Martin said: “In 2014, the investments we have made in our brand development strategy delivered, with SuperValu becoming Ireland’s number one grocery retailer, Centra cementing its position as the country’s leading convenience brand and foodservice brand MarketPlace growing ahead of the market.

“As part of our group transformation agenda, which is about positioning the business to deliver long-term sustainable growth, we announced our exit from Great Britain, combined our retail and wholesale businesses in Northern Ireland and integrated the former Superquinn business with SuperValu. With the transformation well progressed and given the strong position of our brands, the business is now on track to return to profit in 2015.”