The Musgrave Group has made an immediate return to profit on the back of the sale of its GB business, comprising Budgens and Londis, to Booker in September 2015.

In the financial year 2015, ending on 2 January 2016, pre-tax profit was €67.5m, compared to a loss of €9.6m in the previous year. Total sales were €4.4bn, with sales from continuing operations down 1% at €3.7bn.

In Northern Ireland, the group’s retail and wholesale operations were combined to support the Centra, SuperValu, Mace and MarketPlace brands. Across the island of Ireland as a whole, convenience store symbol Centra achieved sales of €1.5bn with SuperValu adding a further €2.6bn. Centra will open 16 new stores this year, adding 480 jobs to the Centra network, as part of a €16m investment programme.

Musgrave chief executive Chris Martin commented: “2015 marked a year in which we brought the business back to profit and positioned it on a path to growth. In recent years, against a backdrop of challenging trading conditions, we have invested in our brands and consolidated the Musgrave business as Ireland’s number one food retailer and wholesaler, feeding one in three people.

“During 2015, we invested in our SuperValu, Centra and MarketPlace brands which now lead their respective markets and support over 22,000 Irish businesses, generating €7 billion of economic activity annually. We also completed our exit from Great Britain.”