ICA Gruppen Posts 'Slightly Weaker Than Expected' Q1 Sales Growth
Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen has reported a 5.8% increase in its consolidated net sales, amounting to SEK 27,181 million (€25,703 million), for the first quarter of the 2018 financial year.
"Slightly Weaker" Results
According to the CEO of ICA Gruppen, Per Strömberg, these results were "slightly weaker" that what the group had expected.
"We had favourable sales performance in Sweden during the quarter, and our e-commerce shows very good growth. However, we are getting too little return from this sales growth," he said.
Strömberg added, "Other businesses have performed well on the whole. Despite slightly weaker earnings, our trend of very strong cash flow in ICA Gruppen continued also during the first quarter."
At the annual general meeting, board director Jan Olofsson was replaced by Fredrik Persson, after he chose not to be reelected.
Acquisitions And Divestments
Earnings per share for the company equalled SEK 3.46 (€5.61). Its operating profit (excluding items affecting comparability) was SEK 972 million (€996 million). This number includes an outlay of SEK 15 million in 2017 to pay off the divestment costs of ICA Eiendom in Norway. It also includes SEK 9 million (€12 million) for the past planned integration of the IKI banner in Lithuania.
The company announced in mid-April that the Lithuanian Competition Council had blocked the IKI acquisition, despite initially giving clearance last October. It came with the stipulation that 17 specific IKI and Rimi stores had to be sold prior to completion of the transaction, but the council later rejected the divestment proposals.
The company said it would concentrate instead on organic growth in Lithuania, calling it 'a market that is profitable and continues to be important.'
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.