British online supermarket Ocado Group currently has a good supply of salad items, chief executive Tim Steiner told reporters on Tuesday. On Monday, Lidl GB followed market leader Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi in imposing customer purchase limits on tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, after supplies across the supermarket sector were hit by disrupted harvests in Southern Europe and North Africa, due to unseasonable weather, reports Reuters. Steiner was speaking after Ocado reported a worse-than-expected full-year loss.
French retailer Casino vowed on Tuesday to spend more on promotions this quarter, to help cash-strapped shoppers, after sales at its Géant hypermarkets in France fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2022, amid competitive pressure. Overall group sales growth slowed in the fourth quarter, despite a robust performance in Latin America, and shares in Casino – whose domestic rivals include Carrefour and unlisted E.Leclerc – fell by 2.5%. The performance in France will be closely watched after (earlier this month) Casino and Teract announced that they were in preliminary talks to combine their retail activities there, within an entity controlled by Casino. The company, which has been facing concerns over high debt and low cash flow, is scheduled to report its full-year earnings on 10 March, having previously noted that it was aiming for a good level of profit and improved cash flow generation, reports Reuters. That outlook was not included in Tuesday’s press release.
Carrefour Italia has reported 2022 sales of €4.4 billion, with like-for-like sales growing by 4.2%, reports ESMmagazine.com. The final quarter of 2022 was the sixth consecutive one in which the business, which is part of France’s Carrefour Group, saw growth in profit margins, despite significant increases in energy costs and the impact of inflation. The value of Italian products sold in Carrefour stores worldwide increased by 40%, from €800 million in 2021 to €1.1 billion last year. The most popular Italian products are fruit and vegetables (which sell particularly well in France, Belgium, Poland, Romania and Dubai), as well as wines and products sold under the Terre d’Italia brand. Elsewhere, the strategy of relaunching and reorganising the sales network continues, with the divestment of low-profitability businesses.