Finland's Kesko Group has reported 3.6% year-on-year growth in comparable net sales to €10.7 billion in its financial year 2020.
Net sales in its grocery trade division increased by 3.6% year-on-year, to €5.7 billion, with all its grocery store chains and K-Citymarket's home and speciality goods trade registering growth.
However, net sales in Kespro's foodservice business declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions.
Operating profit for the financial year amounted to €567.8 million, up by €106.2 million compared to 2019.
The company's building and technical trade division saw net sales grow by 5.7% year-on-year in comparable terms, while reported net sales decreased by 6.1% due to the change in the consolidation method of Kesko Senukai.
Net sales for the car trade division increased 3.3% but decreased 3.3% in comparable terms.
Focus On Local Products
In 2020, Kesko Group's Finnish companies purchased goods worth approximately €7.5 billion, with 82.5% of items from suppliers operating in Finland and 17.5% elsewhere.
The appreciation of domestic products translated into increased sales of origin-marked products, such as Good from Finland products, Avainlippu products and Sirkkalehti products, in the food trade and domestic product sales hardware trade, the company added.
In 2020, the income taxes paid by the K-Group comprising Kesko and K-retailers increased to €122.6 million from €116.7 million in 2019.
Kesko has issued an overall positive outlook for its business in 2021 with comparable operating profit ranging between €520 million and €620 million.
The company anticipates moderate growth in the Finnish grocery trade this year and added that recovery in the foodservice business would largely depend on the pandemic situation.