Centra says that last year its sales reached €1.435 billion.

Martin Kelleher, Centra's managing director, said a €20m investment programme by the convenience store chain will see growth in job numbers of 400 this year.

This will be made up of 100 jobs at new and extended shops, with the other estimated 300 jobs coming from other independent stores joining the Centra network.

Centra said it bought over €1 billion of Irish goods last year, with 75% of all products sold in store produced or sourced in Ireland.

This included €130m of Irish fresh food in addition to over €40m spent by Centra store owners on products sourced from suppliers within their local community.