Sweden's ICA Sees Improvements At Rimi Baltic, Apotek Hjärtat In Q2

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Share this article
Sweden's ICA Sees Improvements At Rimi Baltic, Apotek Hjärtat In Q2

Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen has reported a 1.5% increase in consolidated net sales in the second quarter of its financial year, to SEK 32.4 billion (€3.16 billion), noting that its Apotek Hjärtat and Rimi Baltic businesses both saw 'strong earnings improvements' in the period.

Operating profit in the period stood at SEK 1.45 billion (€140 million), roughly on a par with last year. The group said that the continuing COVID-19 crisis continued to impact both the group's profits and sales, following an estimated SEK 30 million impact in the group's first quarter.

Performance Across Divisions

In terms of the performance of its various divisions, ICA Sweden saw a 0.5% decrease in net sales in the quarter, however sales in the first half rose by 1.2%. Rimi Baltic's sales were up 6.5% in the quarter (+2.8% in the half year), while Apotek Hjärtat saw a 7.8% increase in sales in Q2 (and a -1.2% decline in sales across the half year).

Commenting on the improved performance of these two divisions, Per Strömberg, ICA's chief executive, said that the Rimi Baltic business "delivered very strong earnings, and what is extra gratifying is that we have succeeded in combining earnings performance with good sales growth and higher market shares".

On Apotek Hjärtat, Strömberg added that the business "delivered a significant earnings improvement", adding that it continues to take market share both online and across its physical store estate, making it "now the clear market leader in the pharmacy market".


The performance of its core ICA Sweden estate, however, was impacted by the group's small online market share, in a "market in which a larger share of growth is taking place online", he added.

In July, sales across its Swedish store estate were up 3.6%, it said last week, while June saw sales rise by 1.4%.

Elsewhere, the group's ICA Real Estate arm saw sales up marginally (+0.1%) in the quarter, and its ICA Bank division reported a 16.1% increase in sales in the period. During the quarter, ICA Bank completed the acquisition of a number of customer portfolios from Forex.

ICA's Sustainability Focus

The group is also upping its sustainability commitments – it has set out the goal of achieving net zero emissions from its own operations by 2030, as well as cutting the carbon footprint of customers' grocery purchases in half by the end of the decade, and cutting food waste in half by 2025.


“Fossil-free transports are a key factor for achieving our climate targets," said Strömberg. "Goods transports account for nearly 50% of our total remaining carbon emissions, and successfully reducing these emissions is crucial for achievement of our overall climate targets.

"Important steps in this area in 2021 include, for example, ICA Sweden's investments in biogas and deployment of our first fully electric truck, which will take place shortly as part of our collaboration with Volvo Trucks in the area of climate-friendly transports.”

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Get the week's top grocery retail news

The most important stories from European grocery retail direct to your inbox every Thursday

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.