A solid holiday season allowed Belgian Colruyt Group to raise its market share and even keep its profit margins at the same level - contrary to expectations. The company also posted another online growth, meaning online is now worth 370 million euro.
Better second half
Colruyt Group raised its turnover by 3.4 % to 9 billion euro in its broken fiscal year 2017/18, excluding the sale of its food service division Pro à Pro. That turnover growth was caused by higher prices, a larger sales area and organic growth, the retailer said. Despite analysts expecting the contrary, Colruyt kept its gross profit margin at 26.0 % and its net profit margin at 4.1 % (374 million euro). A lower margin in the first part of the year, due to a higher pressure on prices, was compensated by higher margins in the second part of the year as competition in the Belgian retail market became less tough.
Retail turnover rose by 3.1 % to 7.5 billion euro, as the combined market share of Colruyt, OKay and Spar grew from 31.7 to 31.8 %. Wholesale turnover (including Spar and Alvo) went up 1.7% to 728 million euro, and online turnover climbed to 370 million euro. As big national brands raised their prices, Colruyt noticed that the market share of its private labels became bigger. A point of concern is that supermarkets near the Belgian border suffered from the higher taxes on alcohol.