Spain’s DIA Group has ended its fiscal year 2020 with a similar net sales performance as the previous year, despite reducing the size of its store portfolio.
Net group sales totalled €6.88 billion last year, up 0.2% compared to 2019, while like-for-like sales grew by 7.6% in the same period, reflecting sustained improvement in the group's commercial offer and operational performance.
Average basket size increased by 23% across all markets, more than offsetting a 13% decline in traffic.
In the fourth quarter, the group's Spain and Portugal operations both maintained positive net sales, while the strategic rationalisation of its store network (which saw the group reduce its store count by 7% year-on-year) as well as currency devaluation in Brazil and Argentina (-30% against the euro) impacted group net sales (-5.6%) to €1.68 billion.
In Spain, fourth-quarter net sales grew 9% to €1.14 billion, while 10% like-for-like growth was supported by a more optimised assortment, new store lay-outs, positive fresh produce sales and an expansion of the online channel.
Express delivery is now available to 90% of the population in cities over 50,000 inhabitants, the retailer said.
The group also saw positive LFL (+5.2%) and net sales (+7.6% to €157.7 million) growth in Portugal, despite reduced weekend opening hours due to COVID-19.
In Brazil, net sales were down by 33.3% to €212.9 million, impacted by a 29% devaluation of the local currency (sales in Brazilian real were down by 6%), 11% fewer stores and lower general consumption levels. Like-for-like sales growth was up 6.2%.
Net sales in Argentina fell 36.3% to €174.2 million, impacted by a 31% devaluation of the Argentinian Peso. However, sales were up 26% in local currency, and like-for-like sales were down 1.6%.
Commenting on the group's performance, CEO Stephan DuCharme explained that the positive performance of group like-for-like sales was due to "the impact of sustained operational improvements, as well as an enhanced supply of fresh products".
In 2021, the company’s strategy will focus on the rollout of a new franchising model, the development of the online business, the expansion of the private label offer and the launch of a new store format.
DIA Group ended 2020 with 6,169 supermarkets in Spain, Argentina, Brazil and Portugal.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine