UK supermarket group Budgens says an increasing emphasis on providing high-quality fresh food has helped boost its profits by 16%.

Budgens, which has 208 stores and about 0.6% market share, was due a boost. In the past six months its shares have underperformed the rest of the sector by 13% and the all-share index by 10%.

Like-for-like sales, the key measure of how a supermarket group is performing, were up 4.1%, compared with an industry average of about 1.7%, despite deflationary pressures in food prices.

Group turnover was up 4.5% at £451m, compared with £440m last time.
On Monday, the company launched a new franchise concept to target smaller independent stores and corner shops, called Budgens Local. Click here to read article

It also said it was to abandon its 24-hour format, developed when the group bought 55 stores from the 7/11 chain three years ago with the intention of rebranding them Budgens Express.

During the year, the group increased its sales of organic products, boosting turnover of these items by 300%, albeit from a small base.