Irish wholesaler Musgrave Group has announced a 5% rise in pre-tax profit to e72.5m (£49.8m) for the year to December 31, 2005.
The group, which owns Musgrave Budgens Londis (MBL) in the UK, said sales were up 17% to e4.4bn (£3bn) in the period.
Last year was the first full year of trading following Musgrave's acquisition of Londis in 2004 and the formation of MBL. The company said that it had made good progress in seeking independent retailers to take ownership of its company-owned Budgens stores. At the end of the year it was servicing 131 company-owned and 80 independently owned Budgens stores and more than 2,050 independently owned Londis outlets.
Musgrave Group said that these stores had combined annual sales of £1.8bn and that over the next several years it would be supporting them with a programme of investment in supply chain and systems.
Group chief executive Chris Martin praised its retailers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland for delivering a 5% increase in like-for-like sales.