Iceland posts strong sales and profits as rivals prepare bids

Interest in frozen foods retailer Iceland is set to intensify after the supermarket chain reported record sales and profits.
Iceland announced that re-tax profits rose 14.8 per cent to £155.5m in the year to March 2011. Like-for-like sales growth for the year hit 2.1 per cent, while total group sales climbed 5.9 per cent to £2.4bn.
The impressive performance, which was helped by the opening of 20 new stores, is expected to drive up the price that potential buyers are considering paying for the company, which was put up for sale following the collapse of owners Landsbanki.
Rivals Asda and Morrisons are reportedly preparing bids of up to £1.5bn for the Iceland chain, while founder and chief executive, Malcolm Walker, has already made an offer, estimated at around £1bn.
Other interest parties include Tesco, Sainsburys and Waitrose, which are apparently interested in buying some of the 796 Iceland stores across the UK.