German Schwarz, which owns chains Lidl and Kaufland, has surpassed French Carrefour as Europe's largest supermarket company. Schwarz Gruppe's turnover grew 7 % in its past fiscal year, up to 79.3 billion euro.
The turnover increase has now helped create a 4 billion euro gap with the former leader, French Carrefour. Lidl's turnover went up 9 % to 59 billion euro, while Kaufland managed a 2.8 % turnover increase, reaching nearly 20 billion euro.
An extensive international expansion was the big catalyst for this turnover increase and the company is determined to remain on the same track: "We have the financial muscle to keep the company's expansion going", the company told German business paper LebensMittelZeitung. In the past year alone, it invested five billion euro in its store and logistic real estate. Lidl and Kaufland combined now employ 350,000 people.