ICA reports mixed results across markets, but delivered healthy growth and a strong profit performance in 2012.
"A successful year"
Full year sales totalled SEK 96.9m, up 1.8% on 2011, +4.2% at constant exchange rates and adjusted for the divestment of ICA Maxi stores in Norway. It also delivered strong operating profit performance of SEK 192m, growth of 11.9%. Commenting on the results, CEO Per Stromberg said "2012 was a successful year for the ICA Group".
Norway remains a concern
Whilst enjoying solid growth of 5.2% in its domestic market of Sweden, ICA still struggles to deliver in Norway. In 2012 it sold its ICA Maxi stores in a bid to improve profitability, and also formed a strategic buying alliance with Norgesgruppen in Norway. Sales at Rimi Baltic were more promising, rising by 3.3% in local currency.
Focus for 2013
The focus for the year ahead is turning the Norwegian business around. ICA also wants to develop its digital operations and is intending to launch online grocery shopping in 2013. Stromberg also said "the Group's companies will cooperate more closely and focus on increased group synergies, especially in sourcing."
Earlier this week it was announced that Ahold has sold its stake in ICA to Hakon Invest.Once the transfer of shares is complete ICA and Hakon will become one group - ICA Gruppen.