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Deeside firm Iceland named as best-performing company in Wales

FROZEN food giant Iceland was named the best-performing company in Wales and 11th in Britain, after a £120m surge in sales.

The Deeside-based firm and retailer Peacocks were the only two Welsh businesses to make it on to the prestigious list, published by the Sunday Times and Deloitte.

The acquisition of 51 Woolworths stores in 2009 helped Iceland’s sales grow more than £120m to £2.4bn in 2011 and puts them 11th on the table.

Chief executive, Malcolm Walker, said he was ‘delighted’ with the recognition, adding: “Our like-for-like sales have grown by more than 50% since my colleagues and I returned to the business in 2005, and earlier this month we reported all-time records for both turnover and profits driven by our award-winning innovation in frozen food.

“My only regret is that our fantastic performance is being overshadowed by inaccurate stories suggesting the company is for sale and likely to be broken up.

“The management’s own key objective is to ensure that Iceland has a strong, prosperous and independent future, and continues to serve its customers for many years to come.”

Together Iceland and Peacocks employ 26,000 staff, with combined sales of £3bn and profits of £260m.

Iceland now has 742 stores and plans at least 10 new openings a year.

Peacocks Group, which has shops in Llandudno, Rhyl and across North Wales, has opened 47 outlets in the UK since the beginning of 2010 and plans more. It was 71st on the list.

Wayne Harvey, head of the Wales region at Deloitte, said: “It is great to see two Wales-based companies feature again in this year’s league table.