Chris Martin, Group chief executive, Musgrave Group
Founded in 1876, Musgrave Group is one of Ireland’s largest and most successful companies and continues to invest in its operations and workforce here.
Together with its retailers, Musgrave Group is one of Ireland’s biggest private sector employers and internationally its brands deliver retail sales of €6.8bn.
Recently, the Group announced its financial results for the year ended December 31st 2013. The Group reported sales of €4.8bn, which on a constant currency basis, were in line with last year. Profit, before tax and operating exceptional items, was €60m, down 16% reflecting challenges in the business in the UK. Net debt reduced by €19m to €121m and the Group continues to be strongly capitalised with net assets of €314m.
Chris Martin, Musgrave Group chief executive said: “All our markets continued to experience difficult economic conditions in 2013, impacting consumer spending. In a flat Irish grocery market, our brands increased sales and out-performed the market. SuperValu was up 1.1%, Centra up 3.5%, Daybreak up 3.8% and MarketPlace up 5.3% reflecting the investment made in these brands over the past three years through our ‘Winning in the New World’ strategy.
According to Martin, Musgrave continued to invest in its brands and in margin and cashflow support for its retail partners. “Great Britain was tough for all grocery retailers where the market is going through fundamental and permanent structural change, similar to what the Irish market experienced three years ago. Our GB business underperformed in 2013 and this is being addressed through a turnaround programme which is already underway. Against this backdrop, the Group delivered a very good performance in the Irish market.”
Musgrave continues to invest in Ireland and in so doing is creating a significant jobs here in Ireland and internationally. “In 2013 we announced the integration of Superquinn into SuperValu creating an unrivalled Irish retail brand with a network of 223 stores,” Martin explains. “Our strategy in Ireland has delivered for shoppers, our retail partners and brands, which outside of the discounters, were the best performing in the market in 2013.”
In 2014, Musgrave continued to strengthen its business through innovation and new technology to make life simpler for retail partners and their customers. “As we enter the third year of our Group strategy,” Martin says, “we are continuing to see an improvement in sales in Ireland as green shoots appear in the economy. We will continue to invest in Ireland to build on our progress where our brands have market leading positions. We will apply many of the successes and learning from Ireland to the GB market where we are strengthening our brands and improving our offer to the consumer to ensure our retail partners can compete in an increasingly competitive convenience market. As we progress in 2014, our focus will be on driving profitable sales growth and delivering exceptional value to the shopper in all our markets”.
About the CEO
Martin took up the group CEO position in April 2005, having spent the previous two years as group finance director.
Educated in the UK, he is a graduate of Newcastle University, and his background is in retailing, having worked for over 20 years in both food and non-food sectors.
Martin previously served as chief executive of Mothercare and group finance director of Storehouse, as well as holding various senior positions with Asda and Pizza Hut. A member of the Institute of Accountants, England & Wales, he is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a fellow of the IGD.
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