The S Group, Finland’s largest retailer, has reported improved results for its fiscal first half, helped by longer opening hours and improved efficiency.
For the six months ending June, operating profit grew by 19.2% to €87m, while sales were up 1.7% to €5.34bn. Sales at the SOK operations were up 1% to 3.47bn; supermarket sales were up 3.8% to €3.76bn; domestic sales grew by 4.2% to €3.3bn. The group also recorded an 8% increase in customer numbers during the half.
CEO Taavi Heikkilä noted: “We are pleased with the deregulation of opening hours. More flexible shopping hours have been well received by our customers.” Heikkilä added: “The improved result is in particular due to the fine development of the result of the travel industry and hospitality business, as well as consumer goods trade. The sales of the grocery trade have continued the strong development and, in particular, I would like to point to the fine growth in the area consumer goods at Prisma stores; contrary to the general development in the sector, it has enjoyed significant growth in sales”.