Spar International has reported a 4.6% increase in retail sales to £31.1bn for the year 31 December 2011 and said growth was a result of its multi-channel strategy.
Sales rose €1.36bn during the year, delivering a cumulative three-year retail sales increase of 16%.
Announcing the results at the 57th International Spar Congress in Sun City, South Africa, Gordon Campbell, managing director of Spar International, said: “Consumers are making less shopping trips and prefer to shop nearer to home, and we have met this trend with moves into convenience retailing in city centre and petrol forecourt stores in a number of Spar countries.
“We are responding to consumer needs with our multi-format retail strategy, which meets all shopping missions from full weekly shopping for the family to stock up, to daily fresh products to express shopping for convenience items and food to go.”
Spar International said it met another key milestone in 2011, with a move into the Middle East. The first Spar supermarket opened in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and will provide the platform for further expansion in the region. Later this year Spar plans to open its first supermarket in Qatar, which will become the 37th Spar country.
According to the retailer, a number of countries saw exceptional growth in 2011.
Spar South Africa put in a strong performance, with retail sales growth of 8%, it said. Spar also performed well across Europe with sales up in Italy by 6.2%, Austria 4.5%, Belgium 3.9% and Spain 3.0%; driven by new store openings and a programme of store upgrades.
Newer Spar countries also had a strong year with retail sales in China up 70% to €701m and by 22% in Russia to €935m.