Portugal: results and expansion

Date : 18 May 2016

As Sonae MC and Intermarché discuss their results and spotlight the continued competitive nature of the local market and Intermarché relaunches its ecommerce site, we round up news from Portugal.

Sonae MC sees like-for-like rise in Q1

Sonae MC said turnover rose 4.6% to €830m, with like-for-like sales increasing by 1.4%, as compared to a contraction of 1.2% in Q1 2015. Total turnover growth was driven by the opening of three Continente Bom Dia and six Meu Super stores, underlining its focus on expanding its small store estate. Despite its continued investment in its smaller stores, Sonae MC opened a new hypermarket, with an area of 6,500 sq. m under it ‘2020 hypermarket of the future’ concept.

For subscribers, see our recent store visit to Sonae MC’s Continente hypermarket in Cascais, which spotlights some of the changes the retailer is making to its largest stores.

As part of the results statement, and from the company’s chief operating officer, Luis Reis, afterwards, Sonae underlined how competitive the Portuguese market remained in 2016. To compete Sonae said that in Q1 it had “largely focused on improving Continente’s value proposition (especially in perishables)… piloting new and more effective promotional campaigns [and introducing] “Nature is our brand” [as a] communication campaign in February 2016” Luis, though, noted how Sonae had not seen ‘ any decrease in the intensity of the competitive environment’ and in the face of this it would maintain discounts, [as] we want to continue to gain market share’.

Intermarché reports sales of €2bn in Portugal

Intermarché has said that it generated sales of about €2bn in Portugal in 2015, including fuel, broadly mirroring the figure it made in 2014. The retailer said that the flat sales sat against the backdrop of weak economic growth and a highly competitive marketplace, which is highly promotional. At the same time as revealing its sales, Intermarché confirmed its expansion strategy, focused on growing its presence in the country, from 241 at the end of 2015, by investing €200m to 2020 to add about 100 stores and 90 petrol forecourts across all its banners. The investment plan will see Intermarché open 10 stores in 2016.

…And relaunches ecommerce stores

Intermarché has relaunched its online store in Portugal, simultaneously extending the reach of the store to new areas of the country and add Drive and home delivery services in new areas too. Intermarché said that the store has been redesigned, following feedback from shoppers, to make it more functional and easier to find associated products.

Covirán continues expansion programme

Underlining the continued importance of smaller store formats and growing interest in franchising, Spain-based Covirán has said that it has added further stores in Portugal, in the districts of Santarem and Faro. The stores, which are both less than 100 sq. m, focus on shoppers’ fresh needs.