Portugal's Sonae MC has 'strengthened [its] contingency plans' and is engaged in 'close dialogue with all stakeholders in the supply chain' as it seeks to tackle the growing COVID-19 crisis, its parent company, Sonae, said in its annual report.
The retailer, which operates the Continente chain, noted that it has been experiencing 'a high level of demand' since the crisis broke, and has sought to 'strengthen the response capacity' by its retailers.
'We expect Sonae MC to continue to lead in the Portuguese market and play a crucial role in supplying its customers with essential products and services,' it said.
"The way the teams are rising to the occasion leaves me in awe," Sonae chairman Paulo Azevedo wrote in his opening letter. "We are currently working with single-minded tenacity and with a firm belief that we will be capable of doing whatever it takes to keep the operations that are critical to society up and running."
A Positive Year
In its annual report, Sonae said that it delivered 'outstanding operating and financial results' across its portfolio, as consolidated turnover rose 9.2% to €6.44 billion and underlying EBITDA was up 22.2% to €599 million.
Its Sonae MC business 'continued to reinforce its leadership position', it added, with turnover growth of 9.2% to €4.7 billion.
'Anchored in a robust operational performance and under a highly experienced management team, coupled with stable shareholder structure, Sonae MC presents solid business fundamentals and strong financial results, with exceptional sales growth, best-in-class operating profitability and a conservative capital structure,' the group said.
Last year saw the establishment of the business' Sustainability Advisory Group, which will seek to develop and adopt a number of measures aimed at furthering sustainable development, around areas such as climate change; plastic reduction; nature and biodiversity; inequalities and inclusive development; and community support.
"Sonae is an organisation of excellence," recently appointed chief executive Cláudia Azevedo said in the report. "I am sure our future will be another chapter of success in Sonae’s history, one that will be written in partnership with each of our stakeholders."
© 2020 ESM – European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.