ICA, Axfood and Kesko announce Q3 2019 results

Date : 30 October 2019

Sweden-based ICA and Axfood have reported a 3.4% and 5.7% increase in consolidated net sales respectively. Meanwhile, Finland-based Kesko saw a 6.1% increase in net sales.

ICA: 3.4% sales increase

ICA Sweden saw consolidated net sales increase by 3.4% to SEK29,818m (US$3,079m) in Q3 2019. Operating profit, excluding items affecting comparability, for the period was SEK1,599m (US$165m) and cash flow from operating activities amounted to SEK 1,915m (US$198m).

Commenting on the results, CEO Per Strömberg said, “Today we can report yet another good quarter with consistently stable earnings performance. The exception is Apotek Hjärtat, where sales and earnings during the quarter were unfortunately hurt by the disruptions, we experienced during the start-up of the automated warehouse in Norrköping.”

During the quarter, ICA Bank formed a jointly owned mortgage company with partner companies. Strömberg explained, “This is a future-oriented project in which we are advancing our position in the banking market and will be able to offer attractive, comprehensive solutions to our customers in a better way.”

Axfood: 5.7% sales increase

Elsewhere in Sweden, Axfood saw its “strongest third quarter ever”, reporting a 5.7% growth in consolidated net sales to SEK12,731m (US$1,314m) in Q3 2019. The retailer attributes this to “Willys’ strong growth and continued favourable growth for Dagab and Axfood Snabbgross”. Operating profit rose by 15.4% to SEK715m (US$73.7m).

Store and like-for-like (LFL) sales increased by 6.7% to SEK10,689m (US$1,102m) and 5.4% respectively. Axfood attributes this to its Willys banner, which saw an 8.3% increase in sales, with LFL growth of 7%. Snabbgrass, Dagab and Hemköp also experienced sales growth, of 4.2% (LFL 4.2%), 6.3% and 6.6%, respectively. Online sales during the quarter grew by 38% to SEK304m (US$31.3m).

CEO Klas Balkow commented, “With 6.7% growth in store sales and a full 38% growth in online, I can affirm that this quarter we continued to outpace growth in the market in both channels.”

Kesko: +6.1% sales increase

Meanwhile in Finland, Kesko has revealed its “all-time best quarter” results, reporting a 6.1% net sales increase to €2,803.9m (US$3,107.7m). Operating profit was €152m (US$168.5m), up €15m from the same period last year.

Kesko’s grocery sales increased by 3.3%, ahead of the market. The retailer said all its formats saw sales growth but growth was especially strong in K-Citymarket. Kesko said it will continue the “determined customer-oriented transformation of its business and execution of its strategy”. It expects net sales for continuing operations for the next 12 months to exceed the level of the previous 12 months.

President and CEO Mikko Helander commented, “I am particularly pleased that in line with our strategy we have been able to strengthen our profitable growth and market shares both organically and through successful acquisitions.”

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