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Germany-based Metro has reported its first quarter results saying total sales fell by 0.6% to €8.0bn. Metro said in local currency terms sales had risen by 2.1%, with the fall in sales ‘due to the negative development of the Russian and Turkish currency’. However, the company was able to report that like-for-like sales had risen by 2.3% during the period, with it noting this was ‘mainly driven by Eastern Europe (excluding Russia) and Asia’.

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We look at how CFAO, Carrefour’s franchisee in West and Central Africa, is expanding its Supeco and Carrefour Market formats.

CFAO to expand Supeco cash & carry format…

CFAO has announced it is rethinking its strategy to extend its reach. It plans to expand the Supeco cash & carry format to Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. The franchisee hopes to open between eight to 10 Supeco stores by the end of 2019. CEO Jean-Christophe Brindeau, commented, “This represents an investment of about €30m this year”.

The Supeco format, already operating in Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain, will be first launched in Dakar, Senegal in Q1 2019. The stores will be between 750 sq m and 1,000 sq m and will stock 2,500 SKUs. Shoppers will be able to buy the products either as single items or in bulk.

The franchisee hopes that by expanding Supeco it will “address a more popular target”. According to the retailer’s research, it only reaches about 15% of the market, made up of high- and middle-income shoppers, with its existing stores. However, the Supeco format will help it to target 58% of the market. Brindeau added, “If we want to succeed in Africa in retail, we must operate a format like Supeco, which is attractive for all African consumers”.

…As it opens its first Carrefour Market in Senegal

Meanwhile, CFAO has opened its first Carrefour Market in Dakar, Senegal. The 800 sq m store is in the neighbourhood of Point E. It targets “the 3% of CSP + and the 12% of middle class” shoppers, but promises “the same price level as Auchan”.

CFAO hopes to sign contracts with local suppliers in the area and will focus on volumes and low prices. It also said it will “adapt our references as and when we need them, according to our suppliers and demand”.

Metro’s total sales declined by -0.6% to €8.0bn in Q1 2018/19, compared to the same period last year. The decline was driven by negative currency effects in Russia and Eastern Europe. Like-for-like (lfl) sales for the group rose 2.3% in the period. Eastern Europe (excluding Russia) and Asia remain Metro’s most dynamic regions, whilst Germany saw a decline in lfl sales.

Q1 2018/19 results by region

Western Europe

  • Lfl sales in Western Europe increased by 1.0%, driven by HoReCa customers
  • In Germany, Metro’s main market, lfl sales were down -0.2%

Eastern Europe and Asia

  • In Eastern Europe (excluding Russia) lfl sales grew by 6.4%
  • In Asia, lfl sales grew by 5.9%
  • Lfl sales in Russia were down -2.4%, despite a continued monthly improvement. Russian sales have been helped by a new commercial strategy, and expansion of the franchise banner Fasol

Sales growth across countries was driven by food and HoReCa customers. Metro’s delivery business has also been developing successfully. During Q1 2018/19 the group opened one store in China and one store in Turkey.

Read Metro’s FY 2017/18 results here.

Real up for sale

Metro’s hypermarket business real, which is officially reported as discontinued operations, saw a slight decrease in lfl sales at -0.5%. Read more on the sale of Real here.

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With Dawood Pervez now in place at the head of its wholesale operations, Bestway has made some key customer-focused management appointments, as reported in the Grocer magazine.  These include the promotion of Tony Holmes to the newly created role of Retail Director, while David Livingstone takes on a new role as head of catering.

New roles to target different customer requirements

These appointments are aiming to bring a clearer definition and focus to two 'customer' teams within the Bestway business, each targeting the specific and varying needs of the wholesaler's key B2B customer groups, in independent retailing and catering respectively.  The move is being complemented by a depot prioritisation project through which all 65 depots in the business are being better aligned to meet the needs of their specific customer mixes.

Andy Cresswell appointed Chief Retail Officer at Bestway Retail

Following the acquisition of the Bargain Booze franchise network in 2018, this delivered wholesale operation has been re-named Bestway Retail (formerly Conviviality).  With the departure of Managing Director David Robinson, Andy Cresswell has been recruited to head-up this division.  Bringing extensive experience of UK convenience from previous roles, Andy Cresswell was most recently Managing Director of forecourt operator MRH, prior to its acquisition by MFG.

Commenting on Bestway's enhanced customer focus, Dawood Pervez, Managing Director commented:

'We're committed to ensuring we will always deliver the best service to our customers, thus providing a clear solution for everyone - whether that's a franchise proposition through Bestway Retail, symbol groups and retail clubs through Bestway Wholesale and Batleys cash & carry's, full-service catering through BB Foodservice and Drinks Express or a collect catering range for customers in depot.'

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