EUROPE: ICA, X5 Retail Report Strong H1 Growth

Swedish market leader ICA and Russia’s second-largest grocer X5 Retail have reported solid growth for their fiscal first halves.

ICA saw its first-half sales grow by 3.6% to SEK51bn, with operating profit jumping up 13.6% to SEK2.09bn.  The group said it was helped by higher volumes, which came despite price hikes.

All of ICA’s store formats reported growth, but the strongest performance came from its Maxi Stormarknad hypermarkets. The group said it also gained market share during the period.

Meanwhile, X5 Retail saw its first-half revenue jump up 26.3% to 483.2bn roubles, while net profit surged up 63.7% to 13bn roubles.  The group was helped by strong results in its second quarter, particularly at the Pyaterochka banner (+31.4%).  All the banners except the Express format reported growth during the period.

X5 Retail said it is “already seeing some benefits in our margins” due to ongoing projects, and said it remains confident of delivering continued growth in the second half.