Polish retailer and wholesaler Eurocash Group has reported a 12% increase in revenue in the first quarter of its financial year, as well as what it described as a 'significant improvement' in profitability.
Operating profit in the period rose by more than 30% to stand at PLN 151 million (€32.26 million). This compares to PLN 115.9 million a year earlier.
"In the first quarter of 2022, the Eurocash Group generated a significantly higher EBITDA, both in the wholesale and retail segment, where the first fruits are being borne by difficult decisions made last year regarding the closure of some of its own stores, and where we see potential for further improvement," commented Paweł Surówka, president of the Eurocash Group.
"We are counting on continued growth in the coming quarters, despite the challenges that our industry and the entire economy must face."
Wholesale Sales Up Double Digits
In its Wholesale business, external sales rose 11.5% to PLN 4.67 billion (€1 billion), with segment EBITDA rising by 26.5%.
Each of its wholesale businesses, including the Euro Sklep, Groszek, Lewiatan, Gama and ABC franchise operations, as well as its Eurocash Cash & Carry business, all saw sales up, with the latter going from a 12% decrease in sales in the corresponding period last year, to a 14% increase in this quarter.
In its Retail business, which is largely dominated by the Delikatesy Centrum banner, Eurocash reported a 12.4% increase in sales. Last year, it closed 50 Delikatesy Centrum outlets, but it said that the loss from these stores was compensated by increased like-for-like sales.
Company-owned stores, however, are still lagging behind the performance of its franchisee-run stores, which "proves the potential for further improvement of results in this segment," commented Jacek Owczarek, Eurocash's financial director.
Lastly, its Projects segment, which includes the Frisco and the Duży Ben networks, saw sales up 42%, however EBITDA remained negative, at PLN 18 million (compared to PLN 11 million last year).
Confident Of Strong Second Quarter
Looking ahead, Eurocash said that it was confident of a strong second-quarter performance, due to the later falling of Easter this year.
"Good, sunny weather is also a good prognosis for the entire industry," added Surówka.
The group previously reported a 3% increase in sales in full-year 2021.