Somerfield has announced plans to refinance the business and open 40 new stores. Daily Telegraph. Financial Times

In the year to April 2007 sales at Somerfield — owned by a consortium including Apax, Barclays Capital, Robert Tchenguiz and Kaupthing Bank — fell 4% from £4.5bn to £4.3bn. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 38% from £158m to £218m.

Paul Mason, Somerfield chief executive, said a sale and leaseback on the remaining 230 freeholds in the 940-¬outlet estate was an option.

‘Do I have sleepless nights over rental costs? No I don’t,’ he said. ‘We have a robust operating model.’