Frozen food supermarket Iceland has reported an 8.7% drop in adjusted EBITDA to £140.1m, down £13.4m, for the year ending 29 March 2019.
The group said the reduction occurred entirely in the first half of the year and reflected sales performance, increased staffing costs as a result of the rise in the National Living Wage and increased distribution costs as a result of higher fuel prices.
However, sales increased by 4.5% to £3.08bn during the period, which the grocer said was boosted by the opening of 43 net new stores during the year, and the 30 net new stores opened in the previous financial year.
Iceland Group CEO Tarsem Dhaliwal said: “Within an intensely competitive UK market place, adversely affected by consumer uncertainty and the well known pressures of changing shopping habits on the high street, we have continued to focus on investing for the future: expanding our store footprint, enhancing the appeal of our existing stores, growing our award winning.
“Online business, continuing to roll out new and exciting food lines that are unique to Iceland, developing our supply chain to support the growth of our retail estate, and finding new channels to sell our food through The Range in the UK and a growing global franchise and export business.”