S Group Reports 3% Growth In Retail Sales In Q1 2024

By Dayeeta Das
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S Group Reports 3% Growth In Retail Sales In Q1 2024

Finland's S Group has reported a 3% increase in retail sales (excluding tax), to €3.3 billion, in its first quarter ended March 2024.

S Group's stores generated €2.5 million in sales during the quarter, registering growth of 5.2% compared to the same period last year, driven by competitive prices, the company added.

In the grocery segment, the company's performance was also boosted by a leap day this year and an early Easter, which shifted seasonal sales from April to March.

Hannu Krook, president and CEO of SOK stated, "We estimate that our grocery sales have grown faster than the rest of the Finnish market in the first half of the year.

"A varied and affordable shopping basket is a basic promise of the cooperative, and we have stuck to it. In January, we again reduced the prices of all Xtra products. The benefits of customer ownership are also valued."


Private Label

When shopping for food, customers were particularly attracted by its low-priced Xtra private-label products, products from the Kotimaista range, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, and products for basic cooking such as potatoes, pasta and minced meat, S Group noted.

In January, the company reported that the sales volume of vegan products at its stores increased by an average of 15% compared to the same period a year ago.

In the home and speciality goods trade, S Group saw strong demand for gardening products, sports equipment and entertainment electronics.

The company's department store and speciality goods trade generated €54.1 million in sales during the quarter, down 4.4% compared to the previous year's level.


Divisional Performance

Its travel and hospitality division reported flat sales for January-March period to €181.9 million.

"After a cautious start in January, demand picked up as the quarter progressed, and overall the S Group's hotels and restaurants performed in line with expectations in January-March. Our customers appreciate good service and the fact that quality and price are right on target," Krook explained.

Sales in the transport segment declined 0.9% to €482.8 million due to a decline in global market prices for liquid fuels.

In the first quarter, the business was also challenged by strikes and lower road traffic volumes than in the previous year, S Group noted.

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