June 7, 2013 / 8:16 AM / 4 years ago

UK grocer Iceland plans online offer

* Online offer to build on successful trials

* Firm also eyeing overseas expansion

* FY sales 2.64 bln stg, up 1 pct

* FY adjusted EBITDA 226.3 mln stg, up 0.6 pct

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) - British grocer Iceland Foods said it planned to offer an online service and was looking to expand overseas as it posted a rise in annual sales and profit.

“We will offer our customers the ability to shop with us online, building on the successful initial trials of the service in selected stores that began last month,” Iceland, run by founder Malcolm Walker, said on Friday.

Britain’s online food market is currently growing at around 16 percent, and is set to almost double in value over the next five years to 11 billion pounds ($17.1 billion).

The country’s top three grocers Tesco, Wal-Mart’s Asda and J Sainsbury have well established online offers.

No. 4 player Wm Morrison plans to launch an online food business in conjunction with Ocado in January.

Iceland’s international business ITEX currently exports products to over 30 countries.

The firm plans further expansion of exports, retail franchising, acquisitions and store openings outside the UK, benefiting from the insights of shareholders - Brait S.A. based in South Africa, and the Landmark Group, based in the Middle East.

Iceland was subject to a management buyout in March 2012, led by Walker.

The firm’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 0.6 percent to 226.3 million pounds on sales up 1 percent to 2.64 billion pounds in the year to March 29.

Sales at stores open over a year increased 1.1 percent.

Iceland, which currently trades from 790 stores, plans to open 40 in the 2013-14 year, creating 2,000 new jobs.

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