Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona has approved a €400 million investment in Irmadona, the company that manages its activities in Portugal, according to media reports.
The amount is included in the 2020 accounts of Inmo-Alameda, a company owned by Mercadona’s president, Juan Roig, which controls 53.44% of the distribution company, according to Spanish daily El Economista.
The additional funds will be used to boost Mercadona’s position in Portugal where it is still far from achieving the market share it has in Spain.
Citing an official source from the company, Portuguese daily Dinheiro Vivo reported that €150 million will be spent this year for opening nine new supermarkets, the construction of a logistics warehouse in Póvoa do Varzim, and a co-innovation centre in Lisbon.
During a press conference, to present the 2020 results, Roig expressed his satisfaction with the company's activities in Portugal where, despite limited volume (€186 million revenue), sales per shop were 10% higher than in Spain.
He also pointed out that a lot of work remains to be done in Portugal before Mercadona can expand to other markets.
Inmo-Alameda's Portuguese retail chain Irmadona Supermercados recorded an operating loss of €83 million in 2020, down by 13.5% compared to the previous year, when it amounted to €96 million, according to the company's accounts.
Last year, Mercadona opened 10 stores in Portugal, expanding its network to 20 outlets, mainly in the northern part of the country.
Since its arrival in Portugal in 2019, Mercadona set itself the goal of opening 10 new stores per year, with the aim of reaching 150 outlets. However, the lockdown period temporarily blocked the company's expansion plans.