- Somerfield, the beleaguered supermarket group, has revealed a £20 million fall in trading profits in the opening 16 weeks of the year and has warned that second-half results could be even worse.
The West Country group will face angry questions at its annual general meeting tomorrow, when investors will demand to know why their holdings have slumped by yet another 15 per cent to 212.5p - their lowest for more than two years.
A major factor in Somerfield's despair is the disappointing performance by its sister company, Kwik Save, which it merged with last year. Sales in Kwik-Save stores have dropped a reported 12 per cent year-on-year.
Total sales for the group fell by five per cent to £1.75 billion, causing analysts to recast their forecasts. Somerfield has said it wants to buy back about 10 per cent of its shares in an effort to kickstart the price, but its board is said to be looking for 'market stability' before launching that programme.