Discounted? Aldi posts £54m profit loss

Aldi: losing discount appeal?

UK shoppers flocked to discounter Aldi in recession but the latest accounts filed at Companies House for the German-owned chain show the attraction has waned.

Figures for the 12 months to 31 December 2009, reveal it made a £54m pre-tax loss in the UK and Ireland last year. Despite opening 45 new stores and extending others, sales grew by just 1.7% to £2bn.

In a statement, Aldi joint managing directors Matthew Barnes and Roman Heini, said: “We have invested significantly in upgrading all our existing stores and this has had an impact on the 2009 result.

“We are confident that our continuing investment programme will lead to increased turnover and profitability.”

Aldi came into its own in the depths of recession and at the end of 2008 its sales were up 26%, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel. But fast forward to the end of 2009 and Waitrose and Tesco Finest were the fastest growing brands.

The latest Kantar Worldpanel market share data for the 12 weeks ending 5 September 2010 shows the discounters continuing to languish behind the market with only Lidl recording a slight increase in market share and Netto experiencing a decline in its year-on-year growth of 6%.

Aldi’s share, meanwhile, dipped to 2.9%, compared to 3% in the same period last year.