Finland’s Kesko has reported 8.2% growth in net sales in full-year 2021, to €11.3 billion, in a performance described by chief executive Mikko Helander as the “best in Kesko's history”.
Comparable operating profit for the financial year amounted to €775.5 million, increasing by €207.7 million compared to the preceding year.
The company’s board has proposed a dividend of €1.06 per share, payable in four installments.
In the October-December quarter, the company saw comparable net sales up 7.2% to €2.87 billion.
Comparable operating profit increased by €37.9 million year-on-year to €203.5 million.
Helander commented, “Our annual result has improved for seven years in a row and the quarterly result has also improved 11 times in a row from the comparison period.
“For several years, we have been increasing sales and earnings, which is a strong indication of the effectiveness of the growth strategy and its successful implementation.”
The company’s grocery trade reported 3.1% growth in net sales with comparable operating profit amounting to €443 million.
Its online food division witnessed 14.2% growth despite a strong comparison period.
“In the grocery trade, our strength is our extensive retail network combined with an efficient online food store and Foodservice business, as well as a well-functioning retailer model,” Helander added.
The company has issued a positive outlook for 2022, with turnover in the grocery trade expected to remain at a good level.
As the pandemic eases, food sales are expected to shift, in part, from consumer trade to the foodservice wholesale trade, the company noted.
The company expects food price inflation to contribute to sales growth.
Helander added, “In 2022, the company estimates that [its] comparable operating profit will be in the range of €680-800 million."