The chairman of Belgian grocery operator Colruyt is forecasting a 5% rise in net profit for the company’s 2010/2011 financial year.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting yesterday (15 September) Jef Colruyt said that net profit should rise to EUR369m (US$482.4m) for the year ending 31 March 2011, up on the EUR329m it posted for the year ended 31 March 2010.

He added that he would update the company’s prospects alongside its half-year results at the end of November.

However, the news was dampened by forecast cost increases increases due to wage increases combined with the addition of 3,000 more jobs.

The company also proposed five-to-one share split, in order to “secure the accessibility of the Colruyt share for individual investors”. The move will be voted on at an extraordinary general meeting for shareholders on 12 October.

In July, the company reported an 8.5% increase in sales for its first quarter, attributing the growth to promotions and shoppers seeking barbecue products during the hot weather.