In the same period, EBITDA dropped from €427.1 million to €214.6 million.
Sales declined marginally (-0.2%) to €4.32 billion, although the yearly comparison is affected by the elevated sales growth in the first half of 2021 (+6.7%).
The retailer took the strategic decision to protect the purchasing power of customers, it said, absorbing the increases facing suppliers as well as rising energy bills.
As a result, shelf prices in Esselunga stores increased by 1.7% on average, compared to a 7.4% average suppliers’ inflation.
The retailer implemented prices cuts in the range of 6% to 8% for more than 1,500 essential SKUs across all stores.
Capital expenditure amounted to €151.9 million, while the net financial position was negative at €2.35 billion, down by €630 million compared to 31 December 2021.
In the first half of 2022, the Esselunga Group opened three new stores – at Fino Mornasco (Como), Torino Porta Nuova, and laEsse Largo Augusto in Milan – taking its network total to 180 outlets.
Last month, the Italian supermarket chain expanded its online shopping solutions to include home delivery within three hours of ordering for purchases made through a dedicated app.
The retailer is also testing a new quick-commerce service with Deliveroo Hop, for purchases in laEsse stores in the Milan area, in addition to its existing ‘Click and Go’ service, with customer pickup in stores.