Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Discount Retail Chain Lidl (owned by the German Schwarz Group) increased turnover in Northern Ireland by almost a quarter in the period from March 2020 to February 2021 (Lidl's FY). The company recorded sales of more than £345m (US$460m), compared to £278m (US$371 m) in the previous year. Profit after tax increased by more than £4m (US$5.3m), to £5.5m.(US$7.3m)
J.P. Scally, chief executive of Lidl Ireland and Lidl Northern Ireland, described the performance as "impressive". Lidl employs 1,000 people in Northern Ireland, across 41 stores and a distribution centre in County Antrim.
Mr Scally said: "This substantial year-on-year sales growth is testament to our established business model which continues to deliver for us and for our more than 300,000 weekly customers across the region.
"Despite unprecedented challenges, we've held our position as Northern Ireland's fastest-growing supermarket, achieving 24% sales growth in 2020, and we're focused now on growing that even further."
The retailer has said it is well placed to reach its target of 50 stores in Northern Ireland by the end of this decade.
Network of local suppliers
Last year it announced an investment of £32m (US$43m) to open new stores in greater Belfast and improve existing stores. It is also planning a further £26m for stores in the north west.
Mr Scally said Lidl would continue to develop its growing network of local suppliers.
"We've worked to develop this over two decades and our approach to sourcing locally has helped to shield us from some of the supply issues that other retailers faced over this period.
"Sourcing such a large volume of our products locally has meant that we haven't been as reliant on imports." Lidl has also said it would commit to a new entry hourly pay rate of £10.10 (US$13.50), which is above the rate of pay recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.