We review Albertsons' fourth quarter results as a new CEO steps into the leadership role.
Sales break through $60bn
Albertsons’ Q4 sales were flat to last year at $14.0bn, with identical store sales up 1.1%. Adjusted EBITDA increased 2.1% to $727.2m, reflecting improvements in wastage and better than expected fuel margins. For the full year, sales increased 1.0% to $60.5bn, with identical store sales up 1.0% and adjusted EBITDA up 12.5% to $2.7bn. Commenting on the performance, Jim Donald, president and CEO, stated
"We are very pleased with the trends in our business as demonstrated by our strong results in the fourth quarter and full year. This performance in our core four-wall business is helping fund necessary investments into the business in both the four-wall and no-wall environments.”
Source: IGD Research
Ecommerce sales up 52%
Ecommerce made a meaningful contribution to the sales growth at Albertsons, up 52% and 83% during Q4 and the full year respectively. Its performance was supported by the continued expansion of its home delivery and store pickup services, along with its Plated meal kit business. During the year, it also launched an online organics marketplace in partnership with Instacart. Developing the online channel remains a priority for the business.
Investing $1.4bn in its stores, distribution centres and technology
The retailer continued to invest in its store network over the year, completing 128 remodel projects and opening six new stores. Albertsons has developed a sophisticated format segmentation model to enable it to develop a locally relevant offer. With stores spanning ultra-premium, premium and value segments, it remains well-positioned to capture multiple shopper groups across its markets. Recently it launched a fresh look format for its core Albertsons format, tapping into key trends across fresh, health and wellness and foodservice.
New leadership for the business
With the reporting of these results, Albertsons starts a new phase in its history. Vivek Sankaran has taken the reigns at the company as president and CEO. As the former CEO, PepsiCo Foods North America, he will bring a fresh perspective to the business. We expect to see an acceleration of the retailer’s omnichannel operations, optimising its recent technology partnership with Microsoft, building on the programmes launched over the last 12 months.
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