In the first half of its fiscal year, Colruyt Belgium's market share grew again, with group turnover up again, but its operating income down. The company did emphasize that its lowest price guarantee was true in all of its Colruyt stores.
In the first half of fiscal year 2016/2017, Colruyt Group's turnover grew 2.4 % to more than 4.6 billion euro. Its EBIT dropped 5.7 % to 5.5 % of its turnover, because of higher store and logistics network investment depreciation.
The stores also seem to have done well: the Belgian market share grew 19 points to 31.8 % in the first half of the fiscal year. The turnover in Belgium and Luxembourg grew 1.9 % although it was mostly because of price inflation. The competitive environment eased a bit, which meant the suppliers' price increases were passed onto the consumer more quickly. The chain did say it would continue to invest in its lowest price guarantee: competitors' price cuts and promotions will immediately be transformed into its own pricing.
OKay, Bio-Planet and Cru managed a joint 11 % turnover growth, while its wholesale turnover (including Retail Partners Colruyt Group, which supplies the Spar and Alvo stores) remained stable. Dreambaby and Dreamland's turnover dropped 2 % because of the lousy weather and a negative calendar effect. Online turnover, including Collect & Go, grew, but the company refrained from giving more detail.
The French Colruyt stores managed a 3.2 % turnover increase and the company will continue to invest in its French retail activities over the next few years.
The market is still competitive, the press release said. "In the near future, we do not see a significant pick-up in the economic climate and Belgian and French consumer trust."