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Retail

Belarus' Eurotorg Sees Like-For-Like Sales Down In Fourth Quarter

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Belarus' Eurotorg Sees Like-For-Like Sales Down In Fourth Quarter

Eurotorg, Belarus' biggest retailer, has posted a 2.9% like-for-like sales decline in the fourth quarter of its financial year, in a period that saw the business instigate a group optimisation process.

A 2.9% decline in like-for-like average ticket was mitigated by a 0.6% increase in like-for-like traffic in the period, the retailer said.

Net retail sales were up 5.1% in the period, to BYN 1.13 billion (€480 million).

Store Closures

Some 44 stores were closed as part of the group's network-wide optimisation programme in the fourth quarter, with almost all closed stores located in rural areas.

“In the fourth quarter of 2019, management undertook some important strategic initiatives to support the operational efficiency of the company," commented Eurotorg CEO Andrei Zubkou.

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In addition, the group announced it was ceasing its pilot drugstore programme, Magia, following results that were 'below expectations', while it is also evaluating the potential disposal of its Statusbank banking business.

"This [will] enable us to fully focus on our core business – modern grocery retail – where we are the undisputed market leader with strong competitive advantages and world-class expertise," Zubkou added.

“We believe that the actions taken by management serve the interests of all of our stakeholders, including shareholders and investors. We continue to target optimum operational efficiency, in line with our long-term strategic objectives of financial stability and high returns on capital.”

Full-Year Performance

For the full year, Eurotorg saw net sales rise 9.0% year-on-year, to BYN 4.42 billion (€1.87 billion).

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During 2019, the group opened 108 net new stores, of which 104 were convenience format outlets. Convenience stores now account for 49% of the group's total net retail sales, an increase of 4%.

In addition, in line with the company's asset-light strategy. 91% of the group's new stores were in leased premises.

On the digital front, the company's two online grocery services, E-dostavka.by and Gipermall.by generated 3.6 million orders and revenue of BYN 205.1 million, an increase of 9.0% year-on-year.

"Our market-leading bricks-and-mortar retail offering is strengthened by our online services, where we continue to see considerable potential," Zubkou added. "Our online retail offering continues to grow, and through it we are able to offer modern grocery retail services even in localities where we do not have a physical presence."

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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