Portuguese food retail group MC – part of Sonae SGPS and formerly known as Sonae MC – has reported turnover of €2.69 billion in the first half of its financial year, up by 7.6% year on year, and by 6.0% on a like-for-like basis.
The retailer’s hypermarkets and supermarkets both outpaced market growth, the company added.
Turnover in its hypermarkets amounted to €871 million, while supermarkets contributed €1.34 billion, and new-growth businesses and other operations generated €482 million.
Underlying EBITDA amounted to €242 million, or 9% of turnover, as cost inflation pressures were partially offset by reinforced trading and efficiency-enhancing initiatives.
Net profit increased to €62 million from €48 million, while net financial debt dropped from €664 million to €628 million in the same period.
Online sales dropped by 5.9%, year on year, in the first half, but grew by 4.1% year-on-year in the first quarter.
Investment In Multichannel
In the first half, MC prioritised investments in multichannel and implemented several new digital solutions, including in the areas of payment (simplification of the Continente app), checkout (a new self-checkout model/pilot) and loyalty (gamification in the Cartão Continente app).
The uplift in non-grocery banners helped the company to limit the impact of ongoing inflationary pressures on its cost base.
Operational capex amounted €70 million in the first half, due to digitalisation and the development of logistic infrastructures.
MC continued to focus on segments with high growth potential – such as health, wellness and beauty – and proximity, expanding and remodelling its store network, mainly in densely populated areas, such as the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto.
The retailer expects the Portuguese food retail market to remain very competitive in a scenario where consumers are managing tighter family budgets and paying more attention to the evolution of prices and promotions.
During the second quarter, parent company Sonae sold 24.99% of MC’s equity to CVC for €528 million and also acquired 95.4% of Gosh Food, a leading plant-based food product company in the UK.