Sweden's ICA has reported a 2.2% increase in consolidated net sales in the third quarter of its financial year, to SEK 32.1 billion (€3.22 billion), with the group seeing an increase in operating profit and margin during the period.
Operating profit increased to SEK 1.82 billion (up from SEK 1.7 billion for the same period last year).
In its core market of Sweden, ICA said that it reported a stable margin and achieved a higher market share, with CEO Per Strömberg adding that the market is showing signs of beginning to stabilise.
'Strong' Third Quarter
“The third quarter was strong, with earnings improvements in all of the group's operations except for ICA Sweden, which had a stable quarter with an unchanged margin at the same time that the comparison figures were challenging," he said.
"With subsiding pandemic effects, we can ascertain that the market in Sweden is on its way to normalising, with – among other things – a continued higher share of sales online than before the pandemic.”
Its Apotek Hjärtat saw 'continued earnings improvement', the group added, as well as achieving a higher market share.
ICA's Rimi Baltic operation achieved a higher market share as well as 'stable, higher earnings', while its ICA Bank arm benefited from the acquisition of the Forex business, and stronger earnings in ICA Insurance.
Focus On Sustainability
Strömberg added that the group has stepped up its sustainability efforts, ahead of the COP26 Summit, which starts in November.
“As a result of ICA's initiative to support and develop sustainable, Swedish-made, plant-based foods (ICA Växa), in September the first products were launched under the new 'ICA Swedish plant-based' concept," he said. "We are also happy to note that the UN will be presenting an award to ICA Gruppen for our Beyond Climate Neutrality climate ambition."
This award will be presented at COP26.