Sonae MC, the grocery retail arm of Portugal's Sonae Group, has posted a 2.7% like-for-like sales increase in the first half of its financial year, to €1.9 billion.
Reported sales were up 7.2%, boosted by the expansion of the Continente Bom Dia network, the company said, as well as the increased 'investment in its fresh offer, the improvement of price perception and the development of own brand products'.
Sonae MC has also upped its investment in healthy food options, opening its first Go Natural store in Porto in the second quarter of the year, and acquiring the Amor Bio banner in Lisbon, which means that the group now boasts 10 supermarkets entirely dedicated to healthy food.
Overall, Sonae Group saw its turnover rise by 6.6% to €2.7 billion, with EBITDA rising by 11%.
“The growth achieved in the 2nd quarter allowed Sonae to end the first half of 2018 with a turnover increase of more than 6% over the same period last year," said Ângelo Paupério, Sonae Co-CEO, "with positive contributions from all our business areas, particularly food retail which grew by 7.2%. The overall profitability also improved."
Its Worten business saw turnover grow 7.1% in the period to €474 million, while its Sonae Sports & Fashion posted 0.9% sales growth.
Sonae FS saw turnover up 27.5%, while Sonae RP, the unit responsible for managing Sonae’s retail real estate, ended the period with a net book value of €908 million.
Sonae IM turnover increased by 8.7%, while Sonae Sierra, its shopping centre arm, posted turnover of €103 million, driven by improved EBIT from its Services division.
The group said that it created more than 1,700 jobs over the last 12 months, ending the first half of the year with more than 45,000 employees.
"The quarter was, however, marked by the results reached in terms of portfolio management," said Paupério, "with relevant steps in the preparation of the potential IPO of Sonae MC, with the partial sale of a stake in Outsystems (indirectly owned by Sonae IM) and particularly with the acquisition of an additional 20% stake of Sonae Sierra, an operation that contributed to a more balanced portfolio and to reinforce the group’s international profile, which remains at the forefront of Sonae's strategic priorities.”
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.