Centra revenues reach €1.7bn with estate expansion planned

Sales grew 4% in 2019 across 473 stores, convenience retailer said

Centra anticipates 20 store openingsin 2020 which, it says, will add 480 jobs to bring its total head count above 11,000.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Centra anticipates 20 store openingsin 2020 which, it says, will add 480 jobs to bring its total head count above 11,000. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Sales at convenience retailer Centra reached €1.7 billion last year, representing average turnover of €3.6 million per store.

The retailer, which is part of the Musgrave group, said sales of almost €33 million per week represented growth of 4 per cent on the previous year. That compares with 3 per cent growth achieved in 2018.

The company does not disclose profit, which is accounted for in the wider Musgrave group.

Improvement in Centra’s revenue was driven by a number of factors, it said, including its Inspired By range, which recorded about €20 million worth of sales last year, according to the brand’s managing director Martin Kelleher.

“Inspired By is our top-tier own-brand line and what’s been super successful is the in-store prepared salad bowls,” Mr Kelleher told The Irish Times in advance of Centra’s annual conference being held in Killarney on Monday.

Elsewhere, the company’s coffee brand Frank and Honest posted 19 per cent growth in the year and now has two standalone coffee outlets.

Mr Kelleher said the company’s plan is to build a “full end-to-end coffee brand” which would see further stand-alone Frank and Honest outlets alongside its development of coffee capsules and other paraphernalia such as reusable cups.

‘Positive momentum’

Centra, which now has 473 stores in the Republic, operates on a franchise model, where independent retailers control outlets using the brand, with support from head office.

The convenience retailer anticipates 20 store openings this year which, it says, will add 480 jobs to bring its total head count above 11,000.

In line with changing consumer trends, Centra has moved to enhance its healthy food-to-go offering, which it says has delivered sales growth across its estate.

Its hot food-to-go category “fared particularly well” last year, posting an increase in sales of 13 per cent.

Centra stores are spread across the State, but Mr Kelleher suggested that growth for the brand will come from the greater Dublin area as population growth is concentrated there.

Mr Kelleher anticipates similar sales growth in 2020, and said sales “could reach €1.8 billion”.

Its retailers will collectively spend €27 million on new stores and revamps, he said, noting that the company completed 75 revamps in 2019.

“There’s a huge amount of positive momentum in the brand,” he said, adding that last year was “a sticky enough year from a consumer confidence perspective” with issues like Brexit troubling shoppers.