Wholesale and retail group Musgrave delivered a 3% rise in pre-tax profit despite what its chief executive called "challenging economic circumstances" over the past 12 months.

For the year to the end of December it reported sales of €4.9 billion, up 11% on the previous year, making a pre-tax profit of €72 million.

Musgrave owns the Marketplace wholesale group in Ireland. It also operates brands such as Superquinn, Supervalu and Londis UK both as a retailer itself and in partnership with independent shop owners.

Total retail sales, the combined turnover of Musgrave's retail brands in Ireland, Spain and the UK, was €7 billion, up 9% on 2011.

Musgrave Group chief executive Chris Martin said the impact of successive austerity budgets had "cemented the changed mindset of consumers, who remain focused on spending less".

"Against this backdrop, we delivered a good financial performance," he said.