Mercadona has closed the year of the coronavirus pandemic with record profits and income. The supermarket chain owned by Juan Roig had a net turnover of 24,680 million euros, 5.65% more than a year earlier, as reported by the company on Tuesday. Although the year of the pandemic was complicated, with an increase in costs, Mercadona’s profits have grown again to their historical maximum: 727 million, 16.75% more than the previous year.
Regarding internet sales, Roig has detailed in the presentation of results that 176 million were invoiced in 2020 (in Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid, where it has the hives, its warehouses dedicated only to electronic commerce) and stressed that it is now profitable: “We are very clear about where the store is going on-line. And today Mercadona earns money from that sale, which was very important for us ”, he said. In total, the turnover of internet sales continues to account for around 1% of the firm’s total sales, about 250 million, according to the company. This has been one of the concepts in which part of the 1,500 million that the firm has invested in openings, reforms and digital transformation has been allocated, somewhat below the forecast made by the leader in 2019 (1,800 million).
The health emergency has caused numerous changes within the company to adapt to the situation. And it has also suffered some setbacks. Among them, the president of the largest supermarket chain in Spain has highlighted the loss of half a point in market share, to 26.4%. This has been attributed to two main reasons: “The lack of tourists has affected us a lot because we are very strong in the area where there are more tourists: the Mediterranean coast, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands … And it has also hurt us that many of our competitors are doing better than us. Some are doing very well. That helps and makes us put the batteries ”.
Roig has dedicated a large part of the presentation of Mercadona results, the only communication event in the year in which he meets with the press to talk in depth about the business, the challenges posed by the coronavirus and the dichotomy between health and the economy . “Health and economy is like breathing and eating. Health is very important and so is the economy. In the order of importance they are on par, but in the sequential order health comes first ”, assured the president of the Valencian firm.
5,000 new workers
During this year, part of the transformations and investments planned during the hardest months of the confinement were paralyzed. Despite this, the company maintains its strategy and has followed the established line. On the employment side, for example, during 2020 it created 5,000 new jobs, reaching 95,000. Of these, 1,700 are in Portugal, where Mercadona already has 20 stores (double that of a year ago) and its turnover has gone from 32 million in 2019 to 186 million last year.
Roig also thanked the staff for the work they did last year. A bonus that has also resulted in an increase in the premiums for employee objectives, which in 2020 amounted to 409 million, 20% more than the previous year (then 340 million were dedicated to this concept). This is distributed for having exceeded the forecasts and, also, as a reward for working during the hardest time of the pandemic. “It is not for the effort, it is for the commitment”, has influenced the president of the Valencian company.
Regarding the number of stores, the number has remained stable in recent years. In 2020 it grew timidly, five more, to 1,641 establishments, according to the results report. And the company’s Ebitda, for its part, has grown by 23% to 1,550 million.
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