Lidl Parent Schwarz Group Sees Sales Exceed €100bn For First Time
Germany’s Schwarz Group, the owner of discount retailers Lidl and Kaufland, saw its sales grow 7.4% in 2018 and that it planned to keep investing heavily despite a challenging environment.
Schwarz Group posted 2018 sales of €104.3 billion, exceeding the 100 billion euro mark for the first time, as the Lidl chain grew 8.8% and Kaufland hypermarkets expanded 1.6%.
After hitting saturation at home, Lidl and rival German discount chain Aldi have been expanding rapidly in other countries, especially in the United States and Britain, where they have been taking market share from major national players.
The group invested €7.5 billion in 2018, mostly in opening 400 new stores and renovating others. It said it did not plan to cut back on investment in 2019, when it expects similar growth despite "a perpetually challenging environment".
Founded in 1973, Lidl operates more than 10,800 stores in 29 countries, while Kaufland has 1,300 in seven European countries.
Schwarz Group said the figures included waste management for the first time after it bought waste disposal company Toensmeier last year, which generated over €500 million in sales, with a target to reach €750 million in five years.