Finnish retailer Kesko has cited the 'successful implementation of [its] growth strategy' and a 'positive market situation' for its strong third-quarter performance, in which net sales increased by 7.8% to €2.9 billion.
Comparable operating profit for the period rose by €54.5 million to €236.4 million.
Profitability 'The Best Ever'
"The result for the third quarter was an all-time record," said chief executive Mikko Helander. "Sales increased and profitability improved in all industries. [...] "In the grocery trade and the construction and building services trade, profitability was the best ever."
In its grocery business, the group said that retail sales have 'developed well', while its Kespro foodservice operation has 'strengthened' compared to the same period last year.
Commenting on the performance of its grocery arm, Helander praised the "strong development" of the business in the quarter.
"In the grocery store, our strengths are our extensive store network and well-located stores, combined with an efficient food online store and foodservice business, as well as a well-functioning merchant model. Our strategic goal is to continuously improve the customer experience."
Food Store Sales Up
Sales in its K-food stores were up 3.3% in the quarter, while the group's market share also increased. In addition, online food sales rose by 17.3% despite tough comparatives with last year.
Elsewhere, growth in the corporate customer trade helped to boost Kesko's construction and building services business, while in its car business, profitability has been boosted by growth in gross margin and cost adjustment, however component shortages may weaken its performance in the final quarter of the year.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, the group said that its assessment is 'hampered by the continuing pandemic situation and the challenging predictability of customer behaviour', as well as goods supply and price inflation.
In its last full year, Kesko saw comparable net sales rise by 3.6%, to just over €10 billion.