Spar UK has announced a small increase in retail sales for the year ending April 26, amid strong growth in the international brand’s emerging markets.

In the UK, retail sales rose by 1.05% and like-for-like sales by 3.6%, as store numbers fell by approximately 4% to 2,323. But sales per square foot increased by 2.2% during the 12-month period.

Spar International has reported a 4.1% rise in retail sales to €32.2bn for the year ending 31 December 2013, with the growth attributed to a significant strategic focus on new and emerging markets.

Spar China experienced sales growth of 19% to €1.4bn, while Spar Russia’s sales grew by 18% to €1.34bn.

Spar International managing director Dr. Gordon Campbell said: “Retail sales for 2013 show the ongoing attraction of the Spar brand for independent retail operators across the globe.

“In what remains a challenging business environment for many of our partners, their dedication to the Spar brand values of freshness, choice, value and service, along with continuous retail innovation, continues to serve their customers and their businesses very well.”