Retail

SPAR Group Says Irish, Swiss Businesses Performing Strongly, But Poland Lags

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South Africa's SPAR Group has said that its Ireland and Switzerland-based operations delivered 'strong performances' in the year to 30 September, however its Polish operation has 'failed to deliver the expected financial improvement'.

In its group results for the year, SPAR Group said that turnover increased by 2.9% to R127.9 billion (€7.31 billion), equating to a 3.9% increase at constant currency levels.

'Extremely Well Managed'

In Ireland, the group said that its BWG Foods operation (which also trades in South West England) reported turnover growth of 3.5%, despite a year of ' significant management transition, as well as the realisation of Brexit', which it said were 'extremely well managed'.

Its foodservice business was negatively impacted by the prolonged closure of the hospitality channel, it added, although both that business and its cash and carry operation 'have remained resilient within an industry that has seen significant change'.

In Switzerland, turnover was up 5.6%, with the business retaining the additional customers it garnered during lockdown, when many consumers were forced to shop close to home.

It added that the acquisition of the Store Services AG (SSAG) forecourt business in March 2021 has 'positively impacted' its wholesale operations, while its Top CC cash and carry operation was negatively affected by restrictions on eating out.

Poland Performance

SPAR Poland 'made significant progress' during the period, reporting turnover growth of 16.2%, however retailer loyalty levels for existing SPAR retailers in the south of the country fell short of expectations.

In September, management made the strategic decision not to sell a food production facility in Poznan, profits from which had been included in the 2021 forecast for the region.

SPAR Group said that its Polish business has had to overcome 'many challenges' as a result of trying to launch during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SPAR Group's Southern Africa business, meanwhile reported wholesale turnover growth of 3.4%, while core wholesale food business sales were down 0.4%. The group added that civil unrest in some parts of the country, which led to the closure of damaged and looted stores, negatively impacted performance in the fourth quarter.

© 2021 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.

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