SPAR International has reported a 7.4% year-on-year increase in revenue at constant currency, with sales amounting to €39.8 billion in its financial year 2020.
This growth was mainly driven by the company’s performance in Western Europe, which saw a 12% growth in retailer turnover to €25.48 billion.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Tobias Wasmuht, CEO of SPAR International, said, “Last year was very much characterised by the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and its severe consequences, but it was also a year that saw accelerated growth as a result of the dedication and focus of our highly committed SPAR colleagues across all parts of our global SPAR network.
"The response to the COVID-19 pandemic succeeded in highlighting the collective strength of the SPAR worldwide organisation, the competitive advantages of the SPAR multi-format strategy and the critical role of independent retailing in societies and communities across the globe."
The retailer operates in 16 markets in Western Europe, which accounted for 64% of its global turnover in 2020.
SPAR Austria emerged as a top performer, with revenue growth of 16% and total sales of €8.3 billion, up €1.2 billion compared with 2019.
SPAR Netherlands continued its second year of exceptional growth, with retail sales growing by 23.5% in 2020.
Elsewhere, SPAR Italy and SPAR Spain saw turnover growth of 8.4% and 7.2%, respectively.
Independent retailers operating neighbourhood retail outlets contributed to SPAR’s performance in the UK (+12%), Norway (+12.5%), and Ireland (+10%).
Wasmuht added, “Our continuous compound annual growth of 5.64% in the period between 2016 and 2020 creates a strong platform to build from for the future and indicates that our ‘Better Together’ strategy continues to deliver sustainable growth.
“Since 2016, this strategy has delivered SPAR global sales growth of 24.54%, global store footprint growth of 956 additional stores, and a total retail sales area increase of 3%.”
Central and Eastern Europe
In Central and Eastern Europe, like-for-like sales increase by 8.9% compared to 2019, with SPAR Hungary reporting a sales growth of 9%.
Independently owned and operated stores account for more than 35% of SPAR stores in Hungary.
In Russia, multi-format expansion contributed to the growth of the SPAR brand as like-for-like sales increased 6.8% in 2020.
SPAR Poland witnessed sales growth of 12%.
SPAR Slovenia and SPAR Hungary saw online sales growing by 150% and 250%, respectively, highlighting the critical role of multi-format retailers during the pandemic.
Commenting on the company’s outlook, Wasmuht added, “As we look to the future, we do so with confidence. SPAR has shown great resilience during the crisis of 2020 and has prospered and grown. With accelerated developments in retail and across our supply chain, we are well placed to build on this strong foundation.
"A key positive factor of the last year has been the benefits of close international cooperation wrought by new, remote ways of working. The advantages of this intensity of cooperation are beneficial to all in SPAR as we increasingly reap the benefits of our international presence and scale, whilst adding purposeful value to the local communities we serve.”
Africa And The Middle East
In Africa and the Middle East, the SPAR brand strengthened its presence in 15 countries and continued its growth trajectory with sales amounting to €6.2 billion, up 2.8% year-on-year.
SPAR South Africa reported sales of €5.22 billion, while SPAR Cameroon registered a 15% growth.
Sales in SPAR Mozambique and SPAR Zimbabwe grew by 14% and 9.55%, respectively.
SPAR’s performance was characterised by exceptional sales growth for SPAR Oman (+25%) and SPAR Qatar (82.5%) in the Middle East.
The UAE retained its position as SPAR’s largest market in the region, reporting a sales growth of 2.1% during the financial year.
SPAR reported a 1.5% year-on-year growth in sales in the Asia Pacific region, generating €1.88 billion in retail turnover.
SPAR China recorded retail sales of €1.55 billion and like-for-like annual sales growth of 7.9% in local currency.
In Australia, SPAR saw revenue growth of 16.5%, with proximity and neighbourhood retailing proving a popular and winning format as communities shopped increasingly local.
SPAR Pakistan and SPAR Sri Lanka continued their growth momentum by 38% and 63%, respectively.