The SPAR Austria Group announced its 2020 results, reporting total sales rose 5.6% to €16.6 bn. In its home market, SPAR Austria’s food sales increased 16% to €8.32 bn, helping it gain market share during the year and, it claims, ‘making it the new market leader in Austria’.
Total Group sales reach €16.6 bn…
SPAR Austria said all its three business divisions – food retail, sports retail and shopping centres – performed well during 2020, with its gross sales rising 5.6% to €16.6 bn. SPAR claimed it grew faster than the market average in Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Northern Italy.
…Aided by expansion and online growth
While the COVID-19 pandemic underpinned the strong sales growth, with shoppers spending more time at home, the impact of local lockdowns etc., this was supported by the retailer’s on-going strategic investment. It continued to expand, taking its total store estate to 3,242 in 2020, up from 3,207 in 2019. SPAR also began the fourth construction stage of the central warehouse in Wels, Austria, and, in Italy, it opened a fresh distribution centre and a meat production plant, in Monselice.
As with other retailers, SPAR reported strong online growth in the three countries it operates an ecommerce store. It reported online sales rose 250% in Hungary and 150% in Slovenia, while in its home market the number of orders increased by 50%, while sales grew by 60%.
Strong performance in Austria…
In its home market, SPAR Austria reported sales growth of 16%, despite its stores in tourist locations suffering a drop in sales. It said this was ‘well above the Austrian food retail industry’s estimated average growth of 10%’. The pace of its sales growth meant, SPAR claimed, that it ‘is now, for the first time in its history, market leader in Austria’.
SPAR said both company-owned and those operated by independent retailers grew ‘significantly faster than the industry average in 2020’. At the end of 2020 SPAR operated 1,578 stores in Austria, of which 696 were run by independent retailers, across its SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR banners. Despite COVID-19 SPAR said 70 stores were updated in 2020, of which five were INTERSPAR hypermarkets, which were modernised.
…Good growth in other countries
SPAR Austria said its operations in Croatia, Hungary, northern Italy and Slovenia, together, enjoyed sales growth of 6.5%, taking their total to €6.2 bn. It said it generated sales of €2.43 in northern Italy, €2.1 bn in Hungary, €924 m in Slovenia and €733m in Croatia. At the end of 2020 SPAR Austria operated 1,293 SPAR, DESPAR and EUROSPAR stores and 109 INTERSPAR hypermarkets across the four countries.
Retail Analysis weekly newsletter