Belgian retailer Colruyt has estimated that inflation is likely to impact the business to the tune of at least €200 million, in terms of energy, transport and employee expenses, its chairman, Jef Colruyt, has said.
Colruyt was commenting at the group's general meeting of shareholders, which took place on 28 September.
"Results are under pressure due the combination of inflationary pressure on expenses, food inflation - which is lower than general inflation - and the competitive market environment," he commented.
"Colruyt Group expects the consolidated result, excluding possible one-off effects in 2022/23, to decrease considerably compared to 2021/22."
Colruyt added that the group plans to "maximise" its operational cost control measures and cash management, and will continue its investment in innovation, sustainability, digital transformation, private label and employees.
"The combination of the above circumstances and the targeted and consistent implementation of the long-term strategy will lead to an increase of the net financial debt," Colruyt added.
2021/22 Financial Year
The Belgian retailer closed its 2021/22 financial year with a 1.2% increase in group sales, to just over €10 billion, while net profit was 2.9% lower.
Its core banners, Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay and Spar, consolidated their combined market share in Belgium, meaning that the business was able to "close the financial year in a satisfactory way," Colruyt added.
In addition, the group has invested some €488 million in new store renovations, production facilities, machinery, IT software and other platforms, including its recently-opened Collect&Go distribution centre in Londerzeel.
"We continue to invest in our people, in their entrepreneurship and skills, as key components within the group’s long-term strategy," said Colruyt. "I would like to explicitly thank all staff for their efforts and contribution to offer social added value day after day."
© 2022 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.