Finnish retail and business conglomerate S Group has reported a 9% increase in retail sales in the first half of 2022, to €6.42 billion, with its performance ahead of pre-COVID levels.
The group continued to invest in its online grocery proposition in the period, it said, with its S-kaupat.fi service now available from 250 grocery stores.
Overall, its Marketkauppa division, which includes its S Group grocery stores, Prisma stores and hardware store business, reported a 1.8% increase in sales in the period, to €4.64 billion.
Compared to the same period in 2019, sales in the division were up 14.1%.
The largest recovery was seen in the group's tourism and catering business, which saw sales increase by close to 90% in the half-year period, compared to the previous year. Its transport business saw sales rise by 37.0%.
Sales in the group's department stores and specialty stores increased by close to 16%, with demand in department stores 'recovering quickly' with the lifting of restrictions and the spring holiday season.
"The rapid recovery of sales in our various business areas is gratifying," said Hannu Krook, S Group chief executive.
"Throughout the coronavirus period, we have invested heavily in the development of our network and services. So, we have a good starting point to meet the increased consumer demand during the summer holiday season."
The half-year sales figures include sales in Estonia and Russia, the group noted. In early March, S Group announced that it was withdrawing from the Russian market, with the sale of its retail and hotel interests confirmed in June.
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