Auchan has reported a 0.8% increase in revenue for the first half to EUR26,106m, at constant exchange rates, driven by expansion and positive sales trends in most of its markets. Consolidated revenue for Auchan Retail was up 0.7% to EUR25,369m (constant exchange rates, excluding fuel and VAT).
Investment to continue in H2
Although the increase in group revenue is small, Wilhelm Hubner, chairman of the management board, said as 2016 is a year of re-foundation for the group following its overhaul in 2015, results in this context are encouraging. Investment in the second half will continue at a much stronger pace, ultimately reaching a higher level than in 2015, and the priority areas will be Asia and France.
France: reversal of trend for hypermarkets
Auchan France's hypermarket had been struggling for some time, with trade press reports pointing to falling sales. Auchan said a "reversal of trend" had been confirmed for its hypermarkets in the first half. One of Auchan's newest concept large hypermarkets has just opened in Englos, near Lille, with developments including a greater focus on meal solutions, and an in-store café located at the point between the non-food and food sections.
Europe: recovery in Iberia
Auchan said recovery was confirmed in Spain and Portugal, with strong like-for-like growth, while there are encouraging signs in Italy as the transformation plan begins to show results. In Poland, the transformation of the former Real hypermarkets has been finalised.
Auchan continues to invest in Russia despite a slight decline in revenue (the 100th hypermarket will open at the end of the year) and believes the market will be a significant contributor of revenue. Find out more about Auchan's format developments in Russia here.
Auchan said it has seen "remarkable growth" in Romania. It is set to open a new store in the 38,000 sq. m Timisoara Plaza shopping centre, which is due for completion in 2018.
Asia: improvement in China despite slower economic growth
In China, revenue was up 4.4% at constant exchange rates, driven by expansion (11 hypermarkets have opened since the start of the year). RT Mart in Taiwan confirmed the revenue rise recorded in 2015. Auchan has begun retail activity in Vietnam, having opened two convenience stores.
Convenience and digital: key parts of multi-channel strategy
Auchan said its new approach sees it adopt a multi-channel strategy in which convenience and digital will play important roles. It anticipates "significant investment" in Chinese e-commerce site Feiniu.com, and has entered into a partnership with the Fivory mobile wallet to accelerate the rollout of mobile payment in France.
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