Portugal-based Jerónimo Martins has announced H1 results for the period ending 30 June saying that total consolidated sales had risen by 12.6% to €5.6 billion.
Slowing economy affects Biedronka's sales growth
The retailer highlighted the slowdown in Poland's economy, noting a 'softening of consumption and the weakness in the Euro area affecting exports'. This saw like-for-like sales at Biedronka grow by 2% in the second quarter, in local currency terms, a marked slowdown from the 8.8% seen in the first quarter, although both figures were affected by calendar effects.
Total sales at Biedronka rose by 16.1% in the first half and by 12.4% in the second quarter in local currency terms aided by the addition of 243 stores compared to the same period in 2012, with 62 opened in the first half of the year, and inflation of 0.8%. Jerónimo Martins noted that the market had been affected by increased levels of promotional activity, which when combined with decelerating consumption, had led it to reinforce 'its price positioning and consumer communication'.
Pingo Doce benefits from 'very strong performance'
In the company's home market, it said that its Pingo Doce chain had enjoyed strong growth, with total sales growth of 3.7% for the first half of the year - 5.3% in Q1 and 2.3% in Q2, aided by like-for-like growth of 2.9%, excluding petrol - Q1, 3.7%; Q2, 2.2%. Jerónimo Martins noted that it had reinforced its pricing messages, which had driven footfall at its stores and help to offset low levels of inflation, shoppers' price sensitivity and rivals' investment in promotional campaigns.
Colombia expanding 'in line with plan'
The retailer said that operated 14 Ara stores at the end of June, with nine opened in Q2. It said that it was investing in building relationships with suppliers, 'getting to know and understand its consumers and testing the business model'. Jerónimo Martins said that shoppers' response had been 'very enthusiastic'.
Outlook remains 'challenging'
Jerónimo Martins highlighted the macroeconomic conditions in both its main markets of Poland and Portugal, saying that they remain 'very challenging', while 'competition remains intense'. At Biedronka the retailer said that it would reinforce its commercial strategy and continue to 'focus on fresh and perishables' to support like-for-like growth, while at Pingo Doce it said that it would 'continue with its cost rationalisation programme in order to improve profitability'.