Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés has reported a 50.2% increase in revenue in the first quarter of its financial year, to €2.51 billion, which is roughly on a par with what the group reported in the first quarter of 2019.
However, the department store operator noted that while its retail business has seen a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, its tourism and travel arm still faces challenges.
El Corte Inglés said that its investment in e-commerce over the past year has helped to boost online sales at the group, which are up 119% on the corresponding period in 2019.
EBTIDA for the quarter came in at €81 million, a more than €276 million increase on the same period of 2020, while operating cash flow has increased by more than €1 billion.
Retail Sales Increase
It said that sales in its retail business were roughly on a par with those reported in 2019, despite continued restrictions, with turnover increasing 47.8%, gross margin up 77.5%, and EBITDA €254 million higher.
The group recently announced the expansion of its Supercor supermarket business.
Within its non-retail business, its insurance business, Seguros, reported 'stable sales' of €54 million in the first quarter, while its travel business has seen 'an improvement' in EBITDA, despite the continuation of travel restrictions during the period.
In terms of future development, El Corte Inglés recently acquired the Sanchez Romero supermarket chain, increasing its presence in high-end grocery in Madrid, while it is also integrating its Viajes El Corte Inglés business with Logitravel, creating 'one of the travel leaders in the Spanish-speaking market'.
It recently launched Sweno Communication, a new data communications business, and Sweno Energia, an electricity and gas marketer, as well as SICOR Alarmas, a home security business.
It has also taken steps in recent months to boost its sustainability footprint.