PORTUGAL: Sonae Reports Robust First Quarter Sales Growth

Portugal’s Sonae Group has reported a 6% rise in first quarter turnover, supported by robust growth in its core retail division.

Overall turnover come in a €1.22bn, although underlying EBITDA was down 22.1% at €46m due to weak performance in its property unit.

Sonae MC, the food retail division, saw sales grow 10.9% to €331m with underlying EBITDA edging down 4.6% to €32m. The group stated it saw a significant increase in sales productivity on a like-for-like basis.

The group opened 3 new Continente Bom Dia and 6 new Meu Super stores during the period. Sonae stated that expansion of its store network was focused on the opening of smaller stores, with the purpose of growing its convenience format network. Additionally, in March, Sonae opened a new hypermarket with an area of 6,500 sq. m. under its new ‘2020 hypermarket of the future’ concept.

It added that Sonae MC strengthened its international activity during the quarter, with its exclusive brands entering new markets and expanding its presence in markets where they were already present.

The group’s co-CEO Ângelo Paupério commented: “Even after taking into consideration the favourable effect of an early Easter and the leap year, the results are very positive in view of the slowdown in economic growth in the Iberian Peninsula and the highly aggressive competitive environment prevalent in these sectors.”