SPAR International has posted a 4.35% increase in reported sales for full-year 2019, to €37.1 billion.
The performance means that the world's largest voluntary retail chain has seen sales grow by more than a fifth (+21.4%) since 2015.
As of the end of 2019, there were 13,320 SPAR branded stores operating across 48 markets worldwide, an increase of 208 stores on the previous year.
This included the launch of the brand in two new markets last year, Kosovo and Armenia.
Performance By Region
In Western Europe, where SPAR has a presence in 16 markets, sales grew by 3.57% to €22.9 billion, equating to 62% of SPAR’s global turnover.
In Central and Eastern Europe, meanwhile, sales were up 6.83% across the 11 markets in which it has a presence, to €6.2 billion, a new record.
The Africa and the Middle East region, in which SPAR is present in 14 markets, saw a 5.26% increase to €6.06 billion, while in Asia Pacific, SPAR posted growth of 3.04% to €1.94 billion.
“In the face of intensified international competition, the SPAR brand has again delivered exceptional results," commented SPAR International CEO Tobias Wasmuht.
"A common trend across many of our markets in 2019 was the outperformance of the SPAR brand versus key local and global competitors. The strength of our international network and growth in our distribution and supply chain operations have delivered significant competitive advantages for our stores and retailers, allowing agility and a speed of response to changing consumer and market trends.”
On the retailer's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wasmuht noted that the group's international footprint meant that it was able to "track the impact" of the virus as it spread from east to west, and that it had stepped up measures to ensure the safety of its personnel and customers.
“The strong performance of neighbourhood retailing during the outbreak and the importance our customers place in proximity and local retailing will continue to strengthen, as will our continued roll out of online retail in the new 'low-touch’ economy," he said.
"Economic impact, consumer confidence and the negative impact on household incomes will see consumer spend shifting towards three key areas of health, sanitation, and value, with the SPAR brand very well positioned to respond."
© 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