Business

Superdrug owner looks to expand in UK

A Superdrug outlet Image copyright Superdrug
Image caption Superdrug will open 30 new stores across the UK and Ireland this year

The owner of high street chains Superdrug, Savers and The Perfume Shop is planning to create more than 1,000 jobs across the UK as its expansion plans gain momentum.

Superdrug is set to open 30 new stores, while its discount stable-mate Savers will open another 45 shops.

The Perfume Shop will grow by 17 stores, its owner A.S. Watson said.

Superdrug will create 650 new jobs as it defies a consumer spending slump.

Savers will make 450 new job roles available while The Perfume Shop will create 78 new positions.

A.S. Watson, ultimately owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, said it would continue to expand in the UK, even as devalued sterling puts pressure on high street retailers due to higher import prices.

Dominic Lai, AS Watson's managing director, said: "We are under a lot of pressure, with Brexit uncertainty and sterling going down, but we will continue to invest in the UK."

Superdrug delivered a 41% rise in pre-tax profits to £80.4m in 2016, with sales up 10% to £1.2bn.

The healthy and beauty store has 790 stores in UK and Ireland where it employs 13,500 people. Savers has 380 and The Perfume Shop 250.

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