Slovenian retailer Mercator Group has reported overall revenue growth of 1.6%, to €2.17 billion, in its 2020 financial year, while retail revenue rose by 3.7% to €1.75 billion.
In Slovenia, which accounted for 58.5% of the total turnover, the annual retail revenue growth was even higher, at 5.1%.
Revenues increased by 4.2% in Serbia, the group's second-biggest market, accounting for around 31.2% of total sales, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina by 3.1%.
However, sales were down in Montenegro by 10.5%, due to a significantly lower tourist season.
The company's normalised EBITDA amounted to €162.8 million, while the net financial debt to normalised EBITDA ratio was 5.2.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, capex increased 39.9% year-on-year to €41.8 million, of which €25.4 million was invested in Slovenia.
Mercator Group continued developing and updating its network and key projects, including the construction of a new logistics and distribution centre in Ljubljana.
During the year, the company opened 26 new retail units – five in Slovenia, 13 in Serbia, six in Montenegro, and two in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The retailer renovated and refurbished 172 outlets, including 70 in Slovenia.
Mercator Group ended 2020 with 1,005 retail outlets, 19 wholesale (cash-and-carry) units, and 169 franchise stores.
Mercator emerged as the leader in Slovenia with a 31.4% market share, up 0.4% year-on-year, followed by Serbia at 12% (+1%), Bosnia and Herzegovina at 4.5% (+1.5%) and Montenegro at 20%.
On average, Mercator's online store saw sales double at the peak of the pandemic, with growth of up to tenfold for a while.
Other notable events in the 2020 fiscal year included preparations for the merger with Fortenova Group, completed on 23 April 2021, and the refinancing of Mercator Group's debts.
For 2021, Mercator Group is targeting revenue of €2.2 billion and normalised EBITDA of €101.1 million (excluding the effect of the IFRS 16 Leases).
Capex should reach €39.8 million, of which 65.8% will be invested in Slovenia.
The retailer plans to open 16 new stores and renovate 29 stores across all markets.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine