Convenience store retailer Centra has announced it is to open 16 new stores this year, creating 480 jobs in the process.

The company, which had record sales of €1.54bn last year, said it will invest €16m in the expansion.

Centra has attributed its strong growth to the success of its new health strategy, which has reportedly added around €6m in sales for the company since it was launched last July.

Its ‘Live Well’ strategy is designed to help people make healthier choices and features products such as salad boxes, fruit pots and avocados.

In addition, the campaign has resulted in more space being allocated in the soft-drink section of stores for healthier alternatives such as water and aloe juice.

Centra MD Martin Kelleher said the retailer was delighted with the response to its healthier products.

Mr Kelleher said: “We have introduced new ranges in store which consumers have responded well to, as well as highlighting nutritional benefits of our products to inspire customers to make healthier choices."

Centra has sold over 200,000 salad boxes, 1.4 tonnes of quinoa and an additional half a million pieces of fruit since the campaign began.

At present, Centra employs nearly 11,000 people across 460 stores and has more than 750,000 customers per week.