SPAR International has reported sales amounting to €37.1 billion in its financial year 2019, up 4.35% compared with 2018.
The company generated 62% of its global turnover in Western Europe, where it is present in 16 markets.
Sales in the region increased by 3.57% to €22.9 billion, with SPAR Austria accounting for €7.2 billion in sales and consolidating its position as the market leader for the tenth consecutive year.
Central and Eastern Europe saw a record sales growth of 6.83% to €6.2 billion in the 11 markets in which operates.
In Africa and the Middle East region, the retailer reported a 5.26% growth in sales to €6.06 billion, while in the Asia Pacific, it saw a growth of 3.04% to €1.94 billion.
SPAR International CEO Tobias Wasmuht described the company’s performance as “exceptional”, and added, “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 speed of response to changing consumer and market trends.”
The retailer added 208 stores to its network during the financial year, taking the total number of SPAR branded outlets to 13,320 in 48 markets across the world.
It also launched the brand in Kosovo and Armenia last year, adding to new markets to its network.
Impact Of COVID-19
Commenting on the impact of COVID-19 on the business, Wasmuht 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."
He pointed out that the group's international footprint allowed it to "track the impact" of the virus, as it spread from east to west, and step up measures to ensure the safety of its personnel and customers.
Wasmuht added, “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.”
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.