Portuguese retailer Sonae MC reported turnover of €5.1 billion last year, an increase of 9.6% compared to 2019, according to results just filed.
The biggest contribution came from the group's supermarkets, where sales increased 12.8% to €2.5 billion, while hypermarkets registered a more modest increase (+6.4%), to €1.7 billion, it said.
Like-for-like sales were up 9.2% for supermarkets and 6.4% higher for hypermarkets, equating to a total LFL growth of 6.6%.
The retailer said 'it ended an incredibly challenging year overcoming market growth and reinforcing its leadership position'.
It highlighted the fourth quarter performance as being 'very solid, up from previous months, despite a weaker Christmas season, due to the strict containment measures in place'.
The 'solid results' of supermarkets and hypermarkets were 'positively impacted by increased in-home consumption, which more than offset the increased challenges [...] due to the pandemic'.
Food categories grew ahead of the market, the retailer said, while the performance was more mixed in non-food – personal hygiene, home cleaning, electronic equipment and DIY were up, while beauty, toys and other seasonal categories were weaker.
Online sales grew about 80%, reflecting the strong expansion of the home delivery and e-commerce channel in the context of the pandemic.
Sonae MC continued to invest in digital transformation, focusing on adapting the customer experience. According to the retailer, targeted digital brochures currently reach around two million customers per week, while over 1.3 million customers use the Continente Card digital application. Last year, the retailer launched the Continente Pay mobile payment solution.
Despite the pandemic, Sonae MC managed to open 89 new stores over the course of the year, 13 of which are under the Continente Bom Dia proximity banner. The retailer ended the year with 1,313 stores (including franchises), with its total store estate now encompassing 942,000 square metres.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine