Slovenian retailer Mercator Group has reported a profit of €3.1 million, up 183.9% year-on-year, in the first quarter of its financial year.
The group recorded 7.4% growth in normalised EBITDA during the quarter, to €47.3 million.
Revenue from retail sales, the core business of the Mercator Group, increased by 8.9% in the first quarter, compared to the same period in 2019.
Tomislav Čizmić, president of the management board of Mercator, said, “Positive business trends are the result of the successful implementation of the business strategy and all initiatives to achieve business goals.
"In recent years, we have managed to renovate almost 60% of the sales network. We invest a lot in service, prices and personalised offer."
Mercator Group generated €507.8 million in sales and rental income in the first quarter, a decline of 4.3% year-on-year.
Revenue growth was extremely high in the same period last year due to the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The decline in revenue is partly attributed to measures taken by the governments in various regions to contain the epidemic.
These include the closure of consumer electronics chain M Tehnika, as well as schools, restaurants, and accommodation facilities, which affected revenues in the company’s wholesale business.
Čizmić added, “The Mercator Group again reduced its indebtedness, as net financial debt was lower by 5.5% compared to last year.
“In the first quarter, we continued with the planned investments, which will continue to ensure the successful development of the Group.”
At the end of March, Sberbank transferred 1,123,803 shares or 18.53% of Mercator’s shares to Fortenova Group.
In the first quarter, the company successfully adapted to all COVID-19 measures implemented by individual governments in markets where the group operates.
The company continued with the planned activities for the construction of a new logistics and distribution centre in Ljubljana and the expansion of its business network and the monetisation of real estate.
The Supervisory Board approved the key conditions for the sale and leaseback of constructed retail facilities of five Mercator real estates and 22 existing retail facilities.
It approved the construction of new retail facilities, which will positively impact indebtedness and increase its share of retail space in Slovenia, the company said.