2015, a landmark year for the supermarket sector

The year 2015 was a landmark year for the supermarket sector, according to a “Panorama of Greek Supermarkets 2016” special edition. Rapid developments, specially after June 2015 (political developments, capital controls, new memorandum, a change in VAT rates on food, higher taxation, etc) had clear impact on enterprises in the sector and to an extent they accelerated or caused the large business agreements signed in 2015-2016.

Based on the balance sheets of 44 supermarket companies, accumulated sales eased 0.07 pct to 8.45 billion euros, in contrast with an estimated by Hellenic Statistical Authority for a 1.43 pct drop in sales. The authors of the edition said this decline was mainly recorded in smaller sales points, a trend continued throughout the recession period. In this framework, the biggest rearrange of sales in the history of Greek supermarkets was prepared, through takeovers and mergers, which completed in 2016. A turbulent 2015 also affected the domestic operation of enterprises, with reduced liquidity significantly changing the management of inventories, reserves and credit.

Operating costs grew because of increased use of credit and debit cards. For example, an IELKA survey showed the operating cost will be burdne by 0.31 pct of sales only from the increased used of cards this year, or 26 million euros for the 44 enterprises in the survey.

The absence of Lidl Hellas’ balance sheet from the survey deprives the total sales figure with around 1.2 billion euros.

The top 10 enterprises in the sector recorded a 0.48 pct decline in sales, or 36.06 millin euros to 7.5 billion, or 88.68 pct of all sales. This reduction mainly reflects the losses suffered by Marinopoulos (-18.14 pct), placing the company third, and losses suffered by Veropoulos (-8.77 pct).

AB Vasilopoulos remained leader in the market with sales of 1.95 bllion euros and profits of 77.29 million euros. Sales grew 8.57 pct in 2015. Sklavenitis ranks second with sales of 1.74 billion and profits of 41.84 million euros. With the addition of Marinopoulos’ network, Sklavenitis is expected to see its sales grew even more in 2017. D.Masoutis follows with profits of 27.33 million euros and Metro with profits of 20.44 million euros.