Slovenia’s Mercator Group reported a net profit of €10.5 million in the first half of 2021, compared to a net loss of €69.2 million one year earlier.
The company's sales revenue dropped 0.4% to €1.06 billion, of which retail accounted for €898.7 million (-1.2%).
Slovenia remained the group's most important market, accounting for 59.2% of total sales revenue. Local unit, Poslovni Sistem Mercator saw its sales revenue decrease by 1.6% to €606.8 million, of which retail amounted to €474.5 million (-8%).
The Serbian market accounted for 30.8% of sales revenue, followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina at 4.9%, Montenegro at 4.1% and Croatia at 1.0%.
Optimisation And Cost Efficiency Measures
In order to alleviate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercator introduced a number of optimisation and cost efficiency measures, which completely neutralised the negative effect of the decline in revenue and led to a 9.9% growth in normalised EBITDA.
Tomislav Čizmić, president of Mercator's management board, added, "Only timely and responsible preparation for the crisis enabled the Mercator Group to continue its positive business trends.
"In the last period, Mercator has made a big leap in the field of digitalisation and personalisation of the offer, which gives us additional competitive advantages."
Mercator Group's net financial debt on 30 June (excluding the IFRS 16 Leases) amounted to €558.2 million (-5.1%).
Capex in the period increased by 5.1% to €13.6 million, of which 71.1% was used for investments in Slovenia and the remaining 28.9% in international markets.
The group opened 13 new stores, including 10 in Serbia, and refurbished 96 outlets, of which 64 were in Slovenia.
At the end of the first half, Mercator's store network comprised 1,008 FMCG retail units, including 467 in Slovenia, 335 in Serbia, 127 in Montenegro and 79 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as 19 wholesale units, including 13 in Slovenia and six in Serbia.
In May, Mercator Group reported a profit of €3.1 million, up 183.9% year-on-year, for the first quarter of its financial year.