Swedish retailer Axfood has announced that it grew more than twice as much as the market in both Q4 and full-year 2022, strengthening its position therein.
The company reported 11.9% year-on-year growth in retail sales, to SEK 55.7 billion (€4.9 billion), in its 2022 financial year.
Net sales amounted to SEK 73.5 billion (€6.5 billion) – up by 26.9%, compared to full-year 2021.
Net profit for the period was SEK 2.4 billion (€210 billion), and earnings per share before dilution amounted to SEK 11.04.
The company generated an operating profit of SEK 3.1 billion (€270 million), with an operating margin of 4.2%.
The adjusted operating profit registered 20.1% growth, to SEK 3.2 billion (€280 million), while the adjusted operating margin for full-year 2022 was 4.4%.
President and CEO Klas Balkow stated, “The year 2022 was a turbulent one, to say the least. In a challenging time for households, more and more customers have come to appreciate our offering, and all of our concepts strengthened their market positions.
“I am proud of how we navigated this market, with a high degree of commitment and with our sights set on ensuring high accessibility of affordable, good and sustainable food.”
In the fourth quarter, net sales increased by 15.7%, to SEK 19.7 billion (€1.7 billion), compared to the same period last year, with retail sales up by 17.9%, to SEK 15.2 billion (€1.3 billion).
The Willys low-price concept reported 23% growth in this period, the company noted.
Operating profit for the quarter amounted to SEK 502 million (€44.3 million), while the operating margin was 2.5%.
Adjusted operating profit amounted to SEK 734 million (€64.7 million) – up by 12.3%, year on year. The adjusted operating margin was 3.7%.
Net profit for the period amounted to SEK 353 million (€31.1 million), while earnings per share before dilution amounted to SEK 1.62.
Balkow added, “Our strong sales growth resulted in an increased operating profit, excluding items affecting comparability during the fourth quarter. The growth has compensated for our higher costs, primarily the continued price increases by our suppliers that have not yet been fully reflected in consumer prices.
“The higher share of sales of campaign products, as well as increased costs for fuel and energy, also had an effect on our margin.”
Axfood plans to speed up the rate of new-store openings in 2023, adding ten to 15 new stores to its network, the majority of which will be Willys outlets.
Balkow added, “Investments in 2023 are expected to amount to SEK 1.8 billion [€160 million] to SEK 1.9 billion [€170 million]. Axfood is in a strong financial position, and the board of directors will propose a higher dividend of SEK 8.15 per share to the annual general meeting – a dividend payout ratio that is in line with previous years.”
© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.