Lidl Sweden reported a 12.8% increase in sales in its most recent financial year, with general manager Johan Augustsson saying that the discounter's performance illustrates its position as a "strong challenger" in the Swedish grocery sector.
In the year to 28 February 2021, Lidl Sweden reported net sales of SEK 13.25 billion (€1.3 billion), compared to SEK 11.75 billion the previous year.
The group's year-on-year performance is better than that of the industry as a whole, which grew 7.1%, it noted, with Lidl growing faster than other Swedish grocery stores for the fourth year in a row.
Swedish Food In Focus
"It is clear proof that we are on the right track when more and more consumers appreciate and discover our improved offer, where fresh, Swedish food is in focus," Augustsson commented. "We are the challenger in the Swedish food market."
Despite its improved sales performance, Lidl Sweden reported a loss of SEK 145 million (€14.2 million) for the year, which was largely driven by investments in a new head office in Barkarby and a central warehouse in Örebro, as well as the opening of new stores, in Arninge, Barkarby, Boden, Göteborg, Halmstad, Helsingborg, Karlskoga, Luleå, Sigtuna, Trollhättan, Uddevalla and Visby
For the previous financial year, Lid Sweden reported a loss of SEK 68 million.
"We are refurbishing our existing stores at the same time as we open new ones," said Augustsson. "We have a strong platform that enables continued strong growth. Combined with our flexible and fast-paced approach, we have every opportunity to continue to take market shares from the market leaders."
Lidl opened a 'fast track' system for Swedish food producers during the pandemic, which led to an increased range of locally-sourced products going on sale at its stores – a total of 2.5 million local SKUs were sold during the financial year, it said.
Earlier this month, retail representative group Svensk Handel noted that retailers were confident of improved trading for the remainder of the year.