THe Portuguese company went from profits to losses of 59 million euros in the first quarter because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sonae’s CEO, Cláudia Azevedo, said that “the next few months will be tough” and that all the Group’s businesses will be “in one way or another materially impacted” by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sonae went from profits to losses of 59 million euros in the first quarter due to contingencies related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the group announced on Wednesday.
In the first quarter results release, Cláudia Azevedo states that the pandemic puts “everyone to the test” and that the collective response “demonstrates the group’s ability” to “join forces and act together for a common purpose”.
She highlights, “in particular, the remarkable efforts” to “keep all our food and electronics retail stores open”; to “adapt all” e-commerce operations to sustain a strong 3-5 times increase in online sales”; and to keep the telecommunications networks [NOS] “operating under record traffic levels”.
This context “also demonstrates the quality and resilience of our asset portfolio. In difficult times for many companies around the world, Sonae’s diversified portfolio of leading businesses provides us with the assurance that we will get through this storm and come out stronger. This confidence is reinforced by our conservative approach to leverage and financing, which allows us to face the coming months with our eyes set on the day after the crisis”, says Cláudia Azevedo.
“In addition, at this stage all our businesses are implementing initiatives to preserve financial resources, while keeping to previous commitments and without losing sight of attractive investment opportunities. Given the adaptability that our people and businesses have shown, I am more confident than ever that we will overcome this adversity and be prepared to respond quickly to the structural changes that will undoubtedly shape our future”, she considers.
“We have implemented protection solutions for our people who are on the front line and remote work for all office functions. But despite all the security measures, some of our people have naturally been hit by this virus. Once again, we have strictly followed all the recommendations of the General Directorate of Health so that everyone has the best possible follow-up, while minimizing the possibility of contagion”.
Turnover rose by 7.1% over the period to 1.552 billion euros.