SPAR International has enjoyed ‘strong, continued growth’ in 2017, with sales rising 5.3%, on a constant currency basis, to €34.5 bn. SPAR International said its performance had benefited from its continued focus ‘to grow [its] presence through targeted expansion, and to drive retail development through expanding our multi-format retail strategy’.
Sustained expansion underpinning results
In 2017, SPAR International continued to enter new countries in conjunction with new partners, while its existing retailers sustained the pace of their store expansion too. As a result, SPAR International said:
- Retail members had added 232 net new stores, bringing its global total to 12,777
- Stores under the SPAR brand equated to over 7.4 m sq. m of selling space
- By the end of 2017, the SPAR brand was operated in 48 countries globally. Its international presence was boosted by market entries in five countries: Belarus, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine
Sales growing across all regions
At a global level SPAR International said sales grew 5.3%, on a constant currency basis, while by region, it noted:
- Eurozone: sales rose by 4% to €16.2 bn, with SPAR Netherlands (+7.7%), SPAR Spain (+5.5%), SPAR Ireland (+4.8%) and SPAR Austria (+4.4%) outperforming. SPAR Austria’s continued investment in its operations, which stood at €650m, was called out as helping it to drive that level of growth in its home market. Meanwhile, in the UK, SPAR saw sales in local currency terms rise by 4%.
- Central and Eastern Europe: SPAR International said it had ‘an outstanding year’, with total sales rising 17% to €5.2 bn. SPAR Croatia and SPAR Hungary were spotlighted, with the former seeing sales growth of 59%, driven by the acquisition of Rewe’s Billa stores, while the latter saw sales in local currency terms rise 8.8%. In Russia, SPAR said it continued ‘ to win market share’ with new stores and like-for-like growth helping drive total sales growth of 18.8% in 2017
- Africa and the Middle East: SPAR International saw sales growth of 8.5%, to €5.7 bn, with its key country of SPAR South Africa underpinning results. Sales in the country rose 7% to €4.83 bn in constant currency terms
- Asia: SPAR China continued to expand, ‘ transferring international best practice and multi-format stores in major cities of Southern and Northern China’. At the end of 2017 SPAR China operated 408 stores. In Thailand, following its market entry announcement, SPAR International said it had become ‘ firmly established in the market with over 30 stores opened in its first year of operation.’
SPAR International CEO highlights strategic focus
Discussing its 2017 performance, SPAR International’s chief executive, Tobias Wasmuht, said: “2017 was an extraordinary year of growth for SPAR Worldwide, with sustained growth across all 48 markets where SPAR operates. Our strategy launched in 2016 entitled ‘SPAR: Better Together’, is showing strong signs of benefitting our SPAR country operations internationally… A key focus throughout 2017 has been to grow our presence through targeted expansion, and to drive retail development through expanding our multi-format retail strategy. Operationally we are stronger as a result of investments in the supply chain and are generating more value through better buying and leveraging our growing scale in procurement.”