Jerónimo Martins' profits grew 7.9% in 2019. The Polish business was the main driver of the retailer's results, with Biedronka's revenues increasing by almost 8%.
Jerónimo Martins closed 2019 with profits of 433 million euros, an increase of 7.9% on the previous year. Poland was again the main driver of the results, a market where sales accelerated. The retailer will distribute half of the profits in dividends.
In a statement sent to the Securities Market Commission (CMVM), this Thursday, Jerónimo Martins reveals that its profits stood at 433 million euros last year, up from 401 million in 2018.
“2019 was a year of remarkable performance with all the Companies delivering sales, results and cash flow growth, while reinforcing their competitive positions and implementing several transformation projects that will pave the way for a new growth cycle,” says Pedro Soares dos Santos in the statement sent to the regulator.
The improvement in profits was based on a 7.5% growth in retail sales, which amounted to 18.6 billion euros, a figure which was achieved largely due to the business evolution in Poland. The Polish retailer Biedronka saw his turnover increase by almost 8%, to 12.6 billion euros.
“Biedronka delivered a strong increase in sales and results, maintaining the pace of innovation and continuous improvement of the operation, through the testing reinforcement of new technological solutions,” adds the CEO of Jerónimo Martins.
Hebe, a Polish company specialized in Well-being and Health, increased sales by almost 25% to 259 million.
Regarding this market, it is highlighted that consumption “remained at healthy levels, boosting trading-up in the food basket,” and that the food retail sector continued to adapt to the gradual implementation of regulations restricting store opening to Sundays, which was reflected in the additional loss of 13 days of sales, cumulatively with the 21 days of compulsory closure in 2018.
In Portugal, Jerónimo Martins operates with the Pingo Doce and Recheio brands. Pingo Doce recorded a 2.9% growth in turnover, reaching 3.9 billion. As for Recheio, sales reached the 1 billion euro mark, 2.7% up on the previous year.
In Colombia, the retailer says that the consumer environment was more favourable than the previous year, “with the market remaining highly competitive.” Ara’s sales increased 30.8% to 784 million euros.
Pingo Doce owner wants to give 50% to shareholders
In view of the results achieved last year, Jerónimo Martins says it intends to propose half of the amount raised to shareholders. “The Board of Directors intends to propose in the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, a dividend distribution of 216.8 million euros,” states the statement.
This corresponds to a gross dividend of 0.345 euros per share (excluding the 859 thousand own shares in the portfolio) and represents a pay-out of around 50% of consolidated net profits.
The company explains that “this dividend distribution proposal allows the Group to preserve total flexibility to accelerate its expansion plans and take advantage of any potential non-organic growth opportunity, while maintaining a low level of net debt.”