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Targets and strategy

Employee and customer in store

Targets and strategy

With a strategic framework, concrete focus areas, a purpose-driven company culture and deep-rooted core values, we can offer affordable, good and sustainable food, make a difference and create value for our stakeholders.

Axfood’s vision is to be the leader in affordable, good and sustainable food. This vision permeates everything that is done in the Axfood family and serves as a compass for activities and decisions.

To actualise this vision, we develop and operate a family of different concepts working in collaboration and are pursuing a strategy of growthpromoting and efficiency-enhancing priorities. To promote growth, the focus is on developing and offering an attractively priced assortment. Apart from growing sales at existing stores, key initiatives include continued expansion through the e-commerce roll-out and establishment of new formats and more stores. We are striving to increase efficiency in the organisation through a more data-driven work approach and continuous development of logistics solutions of the future. To stay at the forefront, we need to continue building a culture that enables the industry’s best employees to be attracted and developed.

Axfood focuses on six strategic focus areas – the customer meeting, the customer offering, expansion, the supply chain, work approach and our people.

Axfood manages and continuously monitors the Group’s operations based on a set of strategic Group-wide targets. By maintaining a strong financial position and sustainable operations, scope and conditions are created for long-term profitable growth.


Financial targets


Axfood will grow faster than the market. In 2021, Axfood’s store sales
increased by 1.9% (8.7), while growth for the market was 1.3% (7.6), according to the Swedish Food Retailers Federation and HUI Research.


With various strong concepts and an advantageous market position,
Axfood has grown faster than the market for several years, with this
trend continuing in 2021. Its relatively high market share in e-commerce
has contributed to this growth as e-commerce has grown faster than physical stores.


The operating margin will be at least 4.5% over the long term. In 2021, the
target was raised from the previous level of a minimum of 4.0%. The operating margin in 2021 was 4.7% (4.7).


The previous profitability target has been exceeded for several years.
However, as a consequence of the acquisition of Bergendahls Food, the
operating margin will be lower for a period of time. With the investments
being made in logistics, together with the development of the store chains,
conditions have nevertheless been created for increased profitability over time.

Financial position

The equity ratio is to amount to at least 20% at year-end. The target was
revised in 2019 as a consequence of adoption of IFRS 16. As of 31 December 2021, the equity ratio was 21.8% (24.3).


Axfood has a solid balance sheet, and the business model generates stable cash flow. The aim is to maintain a strong financial position and thus the scope and flexibility to make investments that will lead to long-term benefits for the Group.


Environmental targets

Carbon footprint

Axfood will have net zero emissions from its own operations by 2030 at the
latest. In 2021, total greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) amounted to 41,336 tonnes of CO2 equivalents (39,754).


The climate target helps to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases to
meet both national environmental goals and the Paris Agreement. The
Group's carbon emissions are offset by measures to capture or counteract
equivalent quantities of emissions, bringing the Group’s total carbon footprint to zero.

Electricity consumption

Axfood’s electricity consumption is to decline 10% per square metre by
2025 (base year 2020). In 2021, electricity consumption per square metre decreased by -3% compared with the base year.


Axfood’s operations require a considerable amount of electricity for lighting, cooling, freezing and ventilation. Electricity consumption is monitored, followed up and measured using a joint control system.

Sustainable assortment

By 2025, the share of sustainability-labelled products as a percentage of the Axfood Group’s store sales will amount to 30%. In 2021, sustainability-labelled products accounted for 28.1% (28.3).


Product markings help consumers make sustainable and healthy choices.
By offering a varied assortment that includes information on the origin and ingredients of products, consumers can find products that are made in a way that takes both environmental and social aspects into account.

Gender equality

Axfood will have an even long-term gender breakdown in management
positions, defined as men and women being represented within a range of
40%–60%. In 2021, the share of women in management positions was 32.3% (33.2).


Axfood is a values-governed company that aspires to reflect society as a whole. Axfood strives for an even gender breakdown among its employees, and ambitious and long-term targets ensure that the Company is working
toward a more even balance between men and women in management positions.


Axfood’s target is for at least 20% of the Group’s managers to have an
international background. In 2021, 16% (15) of Axfood’s managers had an international background.


Axfood endeavours to reflect the diversity found in society, and offers all of its employees fair opportunities to contribute and grow professionally. Axfood strives for a broad international representation among its employees.

Sickness-related absence

Sickness-related absence among Axfood’s employees is not to exceed 5.3%. In 2021, sickness-related absence amounted to 6.7% (6.8).


Axfood will offer its employees a healthy work environment with good working conditions that contribute to a low rate of sickness-related absence.
The sickness-related absence during 2021 was higher than the Group’s target and continued to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Up until 2020, the target work attendance rate for Axfood’s employees was at least 95%.

Categories: About Axfood