Bermuda-based retailer Dairy Farm International has posted a 29% jump in full-year net profits thanks to stronger sales at its Asian retail businesses and its cost-cutting efforts.

Net profit in fiscal 2008 rose to US$333m, up from $258m last year, the company revealed yesterday (5 March).

Sales rose 14.37% to $6.73bn, up from $5.89bn last year, and underlying earnings per share increased by 24% to $23.77.

During the year, Dairy Farm embarked on a number of growth initiatives - including the acquisition of a further 25% stake in PT Hero in Indonesia for $42m and the opening of its first Giant hypermarket in Brunei.

The company emphasised that strong cash flow ensured that it had "adequate" cash reserves to continue to pursue strategic expansion opportunities in 2009.

Commenting on the results, chairman Simon Keswick said that the company would continue to drive growth in the coming year, despite feeling some impact from the global economic downturn.

"While the immediate economic outlook remains uncertain, Dairy Farm's retail businesses have established leading positions in their market sectors and are generally trading well. With a secure finance base, we will continue to invest in the long-term growth of the group."

Dairy Farm operates a number of supermarket, hypermarket and convenience banners throughout Asia, including Foodworld, Starmart, Wellcome and Jasons MarketPlace.