Sweden's Axfood Sees Growth In 'Most Eventful Year' In Its History

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Sweden's Axfood Sees Growth In 'Most Eventful Year' In Its History

Swedish retailer Axfood has reported a 7.8% increase in net sales in what chief executive Klas Balkow has described as "probably the most eventful year in [its] history".

Net sales for the year totalled SEK 57.9 million (€5.57 billion). If the Bergendahls Food business, which Axfood acquired last summer, is excluded, net sales rose 2.8% for the year.

Store sales at the business were up 1.9%, while operating profit stood at SEK 2.7 billion (€260 million), up from SEK 2.5 billion the previous year.

New Customer Behaviour

"We have operated during a pandemic that has challenged with new customer behaviour and purchasing patterns, during which our main focus has been the well-being of our employees and customers," commented Balkow.

"At the same time, we have made comprehensive investments in our future logistics structure and digital development, and acquired the wholesale business Bergendahls Food and a minority stake in the hypermarket chain City Gross."


In December, Axfood also announced a partnership with online grocer Mathem, which is currently going through the competition approval process.

Performance By Business Segment

In terms of the performance of its core segments, Willys saw net sales up 2.0% for the full year (+3.7% in the fourth quarter), boosted by an ongoing store expansion and modernisation plan.

Its Eurocash business, which also forms part of the Willys segment, saw a 'significant' increase in sales, as a result of the easing of travel restrictions between Sweden and Norway.

Hemköp saw net sales down 2.4% for the full year (-1.2% in the fourth quarter), while its Snabbgross restaurant wholesale operation was up 11.9% (24.6% in Q4), due to positive comparative effects.


Elsewhere, its Dagab logistics business rose 8.7% in the full year and 27.7% in the fourth quarter, boosted by the acquisition of the Bergendahls Food business.

Urban Deli, which forms part of the Dagab business, reported a 'positive sales trend', while Apohem 'maintained its strong performance', the group said.

Strong End To The Year

Balkow also praised Axfood's performance in the fourth quarter, which saw store sales up 3.1% to SEK 12.4 billion (€1.19 billion), with the retailer performing 'ahead of the market'.

" It is gratifying to finish what has perhaps been the most intense and exceptional year for Axfood to date with a strong year-end report," he said. "A year in which we took major and important steps for the continued development of our group.”

© 2022 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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