Mediobanca: Leading Grocery Retailers See 8.3% Growth In 2015 Sales

By Branislav Pekic
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Mediobanca: Leading Grocery Retailers See 8.3% Growth In 2015 Sales

The 12 largest global grocery retailers closed 2015 with revenues of €1.04 trillion, an 8.3% growth over 2014, according to a study by Italy’s Mediobanca Research.

Wal-Mart Group was by far the largest in revenue terms with €439.6 billion, roughly the GDP of Sweden. Another US company, Kroger, was second with €100.9 billion, followed by France’s Carrefour (€76.9 billion). UK-based Tesco is fourth with €74.2 billion. It is worth noting that last year’s merger between Ahold and Delhaize created a group with an aggregate turnover of €62.6 billion, placing it sixth in the ranking ahead of Japan’s Aeon (€55.2 billion).

The highest growth in turnover on 2014, calculated in local currencies, was achieved by Aeon (+16.7%) and, followed by Ahold (+16.6%) and Delhaize (+14.2%). Three grocery retailers saw a decline in sales in 2015: Wal-Mart (-0.7%), Tesco (-12.6%) and France's Casino (-4.8%).

On average 27.8% of the sales of the big players were achieved in foreign markets. Delhaize and Ahold held the highest percentage of sales from foreign stores, respectively 79.6% and 66.8%. They were followed by three French retailers Auchan (64%), Carrefour (52.9%), and Casino (51.7%), with leadership positions in Brazil, Colombia and Southeast Asia. Apart from Wal-Mart, which is very active in Mexico and in the UK via subsidiary Asda, the other US chains (Kroger and Target) operate only in the domestic market, as does Spain’s Mercadona.

The US groups dominated in terms of industrial profitability with Kroger garnering 19.2%, Target 19.1% and Wal-Mart 18.1%, slightly behind Mercadona (18.2%).


The top retailers managed commercial space totaling 211.7 million square metres and employed 5.5 million employees. Net operating margin was also up by 9%, representing 4% of turnover. The net profit amounted to €22.4 billion, or 2.1% of sales. The return on investment (ROI) was 12%, while the rate for renewal of inventory was 30 days.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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