Axfood reports a 7 percent sales increase for June to September.
”The third quarter was an outstanding quarter in which we performed beyond expectations,” says CEO Anders Strålman.
During 2016, Axfood will implement e-commerce in Stockholm and Gothenburg.
”We maintained our high rate of growth from the first half-year with an increase of nearly 7%. We increased considerably better than the market, which means that we have gained market shares. Our sales performance shows that we are meeting customers’ demands through attractive offerings and well-run stores at good locations,” comments Axfood CEO Anders Strålman.
Also, higher volume resulted in lower fixed costs per unit, which contributed to good profitability during the quarter.
Strong sales and good profitability for all segments.
Hemköp had good sales during the third quarter. Profitability during 2015 has continued to improve, despite slightly lower performance at the start of the quarter, and the operating margin for the quarter was slightly higher than the 4% target.
Willys had favourable growth in both sales and earnings. The number of customers continues to grow, not least in the Willys+ digital customer programme, where a large share of active members took part in targeted and relevant customer offerings.
The sales growth during the quarter was greatest in Axfood Närlivs and Axfood Snabbgross, which further strengthened their positions in the market through improved customer offerings. Profitability at Axfood Närlivs was also affected by favourable wholesale volume associated with good weather towards the end of the summer.
Dagab (formerly Axfood Sverige) showed sharply higher profitability as a result of the sales performance both at stores and in the wholesale segment. Earnings for Dagab also received a boost from higher sales of private label products. Today private label products account for more than 27% of total sales – an increase of 1.5 percentage points compared with a year ago.
”We believe that the market conditions for the food retail trade will remain tough, affected by a number of factors including continued fierce competition, higher payroll taxes for young employees and uncertainty over the outcome of the approaching round of national wage negotiations. The higher payroll taxes affect us negatively, since they pertain to a large share of our employees. Today we estimate the effect for 2015 to be 30 MSEK, with a full-year effect of approximately 130 MSEK.”
During the fourth quarter Axfood will be establishing six new stores – three Willys, one Axfood Snabbgross, and two Hemköp.
”One of the Hemköp stores will open in Mall of Scandinavia, in Stockholm, and will be our new flagship store. Parallel with this, we are continuing our digital development with a broadened test of our e-commerce solution. The plan is to gradually implement the service for consumers in Stockholm and Gothenburg during the first half of 2016.” comments Anders Strålman.