Costcutter Supermarkets Group signed a secret deal with an unnamed partner to launch branded stores into a new overseas market last year. The move was uncovered by betterRetailing through a note in the company’s annual accounts.

In the trading report for the year ending 29 December, the company said it had received £1.5m of “proceeds from an intellectual property assignment and licensing agreement outside of the UK”.

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When asked by betterRetailing which country the agreements covered, a spokesperson was unable to disclose further details due to confidentiality agreements.

Results for the year showed that UK sales grew annually from £382m to £421m, while store count remained flat at 1,550 shops. Costcutter’s earnings returned to profit.

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