Aldi profits soar as it unveils expansion plans

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​​Discount supermarket Aldi plans to open up to 65 new stores next year as it step​s​ up the pressure on the Big Four grocery chains.

The ​German firm​ ​​announced ​its expansion plans alongside a 65 per cent leap in 2013 pre-tax profits to a ​new record of £260.9m.

UK sales ​rose 36 per cent to £5.3​bn​.

The performance, which contrasts with the difficulties facing Tesco in recent months, has helped Aldi to grow its market share to 4.8​ per cent​ in recent weeks.

Aldi ​already has more than 530 outlets in the UK​, including some 50 in Yorkshire. ​The group said it was too early to say where the new stores will be sited.​​​

Aldi has revolutionised the UK grocery market ​– making shopping on a budget something for the middle classes to boast abou​t​​ as family incomes are squeezed.

Having introduced cut price champagne and lobster in previous festive seasons, its new salvo in the upcoming Christmas war will be Beluga caviar for under £10.

Managing director Matthew Barnes said the pace of growth quickened in the first half of this year, despite the efforts of the major supermarkets ​to cut​ their prices in response to the squeeze on household incomes and increased competition.

Mr Barnes said: “The price cuts have encouraged consumers to think more about what supermarkets charge and have really shown that our everyday low prices can’t be beaten.”

Aldi opened 42 new stores last year and is on course to open 54 this year, with another 60-65 new stores in 2015. This will take total UK store numbers to over 600, keeping it on course to have 1,000 by 2022.

“In addition to new store openings, we’ll be upgrading existing stores to meet customer demand,” said Mr Barnes.

Kantar Worldpanel has released its supermarket share data Photo: PA

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