SPAR International, has reported sales of €39.8 billion for the year ending 31 December 2020, representing a 7.4% increase in revenue at constant currency values.
At the end of the year, there were 13,501 SPAR branded stores operating across 48 markets worldwide in five regions.
The retail brand said it continued its expansion into new markets launching in Ghana in 2020, with 10 new stores operational by the end of the year.
Despite the challenges of operating through the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of SPAR countries reported strong growth, it added.
Tobias Wasmuht, CEO of SPAR International said, “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.”
Western European Markets
According to the financial report, in the 16 Western European markets SPAR's sales grew by an exceptional 12% to €25.48 billion, equating to 64% of SPAR’s global turnover.
The consistent theme of independent retailers excelling through the provision of neighbourhood retailing was seen through strong results in markets including SPAR Ireland (10%), SPAR UK (+12%) and SPAR Norway (12.5%).
Other notable performers included SPAR Austria, which has once again proved to be a standout performer with a highly impressive revenue growth of 16% to record total sales of €8.3 billion, up €1.2 billion on 2019.
SPAR Netherlands continued its second year of exceptional growth, with retail sales growing in 2020 by 23.5%.
The turnover of SPAR Italy and SPAR Spain grew by 8.4% and 7.2%, respectively.
Rest Of The World
The grocery retailer said continued expansion by the 11 SPAR countries operating across Central and Eastern Europe saw like-for-like sales increase by 8.9% compared to 2019.
Across Africa and the Middle East, the SPAR brand deepened its presence in 15 countries and continued its growth trajectory with sales of €6.2 billion – a 2.8% increase on 2019.
SPAR South Africa reported sales of €5.22 billion, during the period.
SPAR in Asia Pacific produced a solid performance of 1.5% growth over the year and €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 produced 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.
Wasmuht noted, "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 terrible impact of the pandemic on a global scale and the rapid pace of its spread across multiple countries could not have been predicted and, as such, found us having to respond with great urgency and speed. However, crisis situations do invariably bring out the best in people and we at SPAR can be proud of the astoundingly selfless and brave response of the SPAR worldwide organisation," he said.
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,” he said.