The sales increase in Poland may offset the damage that the pandemic will cause to Jerónimo Martins’ accounts. At this Thursday’s General Meeting, the management informed the shareholders of the increase in Biedronka’s market share and pointed out that there is still hope for dividends.
“What the president [Pedro Soares dos Santos] has told us is that the operation in Poland is going very well and will have a positive effect. There is a market share gain and Biedronka will make all the difference in 2020,” says Carlos Rodrigues, president of Maxyield – the small shareholders’ club – about the message conveyed at the general shareholders’ meeting.
In the first quarter of the year, Jerónimo Martins’ profits fell 43.8% to 35 million euros due to the effect of the pandemic in March. Despite the drop in net profit, the Group’s sales – for which the Polish chain Biedronka weighs 69.2% of the total – rose on a comparable basis by 9.5% to 4,715 million euros. Asked by ECO about the outlook for the year Jerónimo Martins’ official source confirmed the strengthening of Biedronka’s business also in the second quarter.
“In April, under strict lockdowns and with limits on the maximum number of customers per store, Biedronka extended the opening hours of its stores to facilitate access to consumers. As a result, it showed a very resilient performance, with sales growing 6.5% (in local currency) and with a strong increase in market share,” explains the company, referring more information to the disclosure of the half-yearly results on July 29.
In Poland, the containment measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic were not as restrictive as in Portugal. In national retail, Recheio is expected to be especially penalised by the closure of hotels and restaurants. The consensus among the analysts who follow Jerónimo Martins’ listing points to an increase of 3.4% in revenues to 19,267 million, but a fall from 12.5% to 379 million.