Sweden's ICA Posts Growth In Net Sales, Operating Profit In First Quarter

By Dayeeta Das
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Sweden's ICA Posts Growth In Net Sales, Operating Profit In First Quarter

Swedish retailer ICA has reported a 7.4% year-on-year increase in net sales, to SEK 37.2 billion (€3.2 billion), in the first quarter of its financial year, from SEK 34.6 billion (€3 billion) in the same period last year.

Operating profit during the quarter rose to SEK 1.5 billion (€130 million), from SEK 1.3 billion (€110 million) in the year-ago period, the company noted.

The company witnessed strong customer flows, resulting in increased market shares for ICA Sweden.

Moreover, customers also bought more items each visit, which contributed to improved earnings for the retail chain.

Nina Jönsson, chief executive of ICA Gruppen explained, “The year has started well, with significantly lower food price inflation and a food price initiative now being rolled out in stores.


“It is gratifying to see that customers are returning to ICA at the same time as the number of products in baskets is rising again – and this can of course be seen in stronger earnings, largely driven by these higher volumes.”

Quarterly Highlights

ICA attributed its improved earnings to positive calendar effects, such as the leap day and an early Easter, as well as major non-recurring costs in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

ICA Sweden saw operating margin growth of 3.6% compared with 2.7% in the corresponding quarter last year.

Elsewhere, Apotek Hjärtat consolidated its position as one of the country's top pharmacy chains, with sales increasing to SEK 5.2 billion (€440 million) from SEK 4.5 billion (€390 million) last year.


Rimi Baltic gained market share but reported weaker operating profit than in the corresponding quarter last year, ICA noted.

Jönsson added, “Already last year, several ICA stores, especially the larger ones and the Rimi stores, started investments in reduced prices and March saw the rollout in Sweden of a major price initiative.

“This will take place in stages and provide lasting lower price levels – and an improved price experience – for key everyday products. We can already see greater momentum with higher customer flows, and there are indications that ICA stores are now showing the strongest performance in the market. An excellent start on which to build.” [Image Courtesy: Jessica Gow/TT]

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