Austrian retailer Spar Holding AG has posted a 4.9% increase in consolidated net sales for full-year 2019, to €11.15 billion.
The group, which operates Spar stores in Austria as well as seven neighbouring countries, reported an operating profit before tax of €352 million for the period, as well as an EBIT margin of 3.2%, in what the group said was a 'record' year for the business.
Outperforming The Market
According to Spar Holding, its Austrian business grew by 4.7% last year, more than twice as fast as the remainder of the business, which grew at a rate of 2.1%, according to Nielsen.
In the process, Spar increased its market share in Austria to 32.8% of the market, up from 32.1% a year earlier. In addition, for the first five months of this year, Spar's market share hit 33.9%.
Spar Holding invested around €680 million in its operations during 2019, on both the opening of new and refurbished stores as well as a number of major infrastructure projects, it said.
One of its major investments during the period was a new central warehouse and meat/sausage production plant in Monselice near Padua, the completion of which has been delayed due to the coronavirus crisis.
Spar Holding also invested in what it described as the 'most modern shopping centre in Slovenia', in the Šiška district of Ljubljana, which opened in May 2020, again delayed due to coronavirus.
It has also invested in its non-food retail businesses – its Hervis Sport store operation now boasts 237 stores across seven markets, and posted €513 million in sales last year.
The group has also extended its online capabilities, following the successful introduction of e-commerce channels in Austria and Slovenia – in mid-2019, it launched an online food store in Hungary.
Elsewhere, its Interspar business is extending its range of online capabilities, with online ordering and click and collect services now available across much of its network.
© 2020 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