Spain's DIA Group has said that the first half of its financial year represented a 'turning point' for the business, as it reported a 8.5% increase in net sales compared to the same period last year.
'The positive effects of the transformation are beginning to be seen,' it said in a statement.
The sales growth came despite a reduction in store count (by 4.3%), with Spain, Argentina and Brazil the main drivers of its performance – particularly through private-label sales and sales through franchises.
Like-for-like sales were up 2.6% compared to the corresponding period the previous year, with a particularly 'good performance' reported in the second year in all the markets in which the group operates.
Adjusted EBITDA was up 6.5% to €51 million, while margin stood at 1.5%, in line with the previous year.
The group continues to reduce its net financial debt, which currently stands at €476 million, citing 'strong investments' and the success of its 'ambitious store remodelling plan'.
In its core market of Spain, more than two thirds (68%) of stores have been updated to a new store concept, gaining market share from rivals, the group noted.
Earlier this week, Auchan's Spanish subsidiary Alcampo announced it was to acquire 235 supermarkets and a warehouse from DIA.
'Complex Economic Scenario'
“The first half of 2022 has presented us with a complex economic scenario, marked by inflation and the rise in the cost of raw materials, fuel and energy," said Stephan DuCharme, executive president of the DIA Group.
"Despite this, the progress made up to June, the positive assessment of our customers and franchisees, and the support that our shareholders showed at the Ordinary General Meeting held in June, indicate a clear turning point for the company."
The group added 53 franchised stores to its network in the first half, bringing the total number of franchised outlets to 2,763.
“The scenario before us tells us that we are closer to being the company we want to be: the local store and the preferred online option for our customers, with a differential value proposition that guarantees their long-term loyalty and growth. and the sustainable profitability of the business," DuCharme added.