Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen has reported a sales decline of 1.7% in April 2021, compared with the corresponding month last year.
Sales in like-for-like stores decreased by 2.0% year-on-year, the retailer added.
In April 2021, total sales in ICA stores amounted to SEK10.8 billion (€1.07 billion), excluding VAT.
Sales in all formats, including Maxi ICA Stormarknad, ICA Kvantum, ICA Supermarket and ICA Nära declined in comparison with 2020's figures.
ICA Kvantum saw the sharpest decline in sales (-2.3%), to SEK2.6 billion (€260 million), followed by Maxi ICA Stormarknad at -1.8% to SEK3.5 billion (€350 million).
Elsewhere, sales in ICA Supermarket dropped by 1.7% to SEK 3.1 billion and ICA Nära reported a 0.3% decline to SEK1.6 billion.
Overall, sales in January-April 2021 amounted to SEK 42.1 billion, an increase of 1.5% compared with the previous year, showing signs of a positive economic upturn after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The calendar effect for the month of April is estimated to be at -2.4% due to the timing of Easter last year.
First Quarter Performance
Profit for the first quarter of this year was SEK 984 million (€97.2 million), which includes the net result of divestments and impairment losses, totalling SEK 26 million.
Per Strömberg, CEO, ICA Gruppen, said, "We have had a stable start to the year, and the pandemic has continued to have a strong impact on our operations.
"As in the preceding quarter, the impact was positive for ICA Sweden and ICA Real Estate, but negative for our other operations. This applies especially for Apotek Hjärtat, where earnings decreased sharply as a result of a very weak pharmacy market.”