Supermarket giant Aldi last year continued to enjoy exponential growth in Ireland and the UK as its pre-tax profits rose by 65pc to £260.89m (€327.2m).

Accounts for the German-owned Aldi Stores Ltd just posted to the Companies’ Office show that the retailer enjoyed the sharp jump in profits after revenues soared by more than £1.38bn or 36pc from £3.89bn to £5.27bn in 2013.

Aldi, which opened its first supermarket in Ireland in 1999, now has more than 100 stores in the country and continues to expand.

The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel shows that Aldi increased its market share of the Irish supermarket sector to 8.3pc.

Aldi has been the fastest- growing supermarket in Ireland since the middle of 2008 with the company tripling its annual spend on Irish-sourced products in the past five years, helping to maintain 20,000 jobs across the food industry.

Last year, Aldi opened its 100th store in Ireland at Callan, Co Kilkenny, and announced plans to create a further 300 jobs with 20 new stores.

Aldi, which does not disclose its sales or profits in Ireland, increased its operating profits by 68pc in Ireland and the UK from £172m to £271m. The figures show that £12.27m from interest charges and a €1.6m loss of sale of fixed assets reduced the firm’s profits to £260m.

According to the directors’ report, during the year the group continued to make significant investment in expanding its business, opening 48 new stores that followed the opening of 34 new stores in 2012. The directors state that the investment also involved the opening of a second distribution centre in Ireland, at Mitchelstown, Co Cork, in September 2013.

The 59,535 sq metre facility serves Aldi’s stores in Cork, Limerick, Kerry, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Clare, Waterford, Galway and Mayo.

The report states that “competitive pressure in the UK and Ireland is a continuing risk for the group”. The directors “believe the group’s strong balance sheet will help support future growth of the business”.

Shareholder funds totallled £1.824bn that includes accumulated profits of £611.8m.

The firm’s cash increased from £269m to £277m while it also had investments of £197m.

Numbers employed by the company increased from 11,799 to 16,781 with staff costs increasing from £275m to €361m.

The highest paid director received £1.37m in emoluments, while the firm made charitable donations of £902,988.

Irish Independent