Strong start to 2019
Axfood’s first quarter was characterized by strong growth and higher earnings. With high activity in development of the offering, we continue to take market shares, where the very positive development especially for Willys and Axfood Snabbgross continues. A decision has been made on the location and provider of our highly automated logistics centre, which will be in full operation in 2023.
President and CEO Klas Balkow’s comments on the interim report for the first quarter 2019:
“As I sum up the first quarter it is clear that Axfood is following up its record year 2018 with a strong first quarter in 2019. And we’ve done so this year without a boost from Easter, one of the year’s biggest food holidays. Behind this performance are our clear and distinctive food concepts, which are appreciated by existing and new customers alike. During the quarter we recorded a higher number of customer visits to our stores as well as our sites online.
Willys’ outstanding performance is continuing with significant sales growth, higher market shares and stronger margins. Hemköp is growing more than the market, driven by a high pace of growth in its franchise operations. At the same time, Hemköp’s earnings were affected by the investments we are making to further strengthen the meeting with customers in stores. It is also positive to note the sales and earnings growth that Axfood Snabbgross continues to show. Dagab is growing and reported earnings on par with a year ago.”
First quarter summary
• Consolidated net sales amounted to SEK 11,931 m (11,444), an increase of 4.2%.
• Operating profit totalled SEK 485 m (435), an increase of 11.6%. The operating margin was 4.1% (3.8%). The new accounting standard for leasing (IFRS 16) had a positive effect on operating profit by SEK 43 m and on the operating margin by 0.4 percentage points.
• Net profit for the period totalled SEK 354 m (338), and earnings per share before dilution were SEK 1.68 (1.61).
• The Annual General Meeting adopted the Board’s proposed dividend of SEK 7.00 (7.00) per share.
• Declarations of Intent have been signed with Witron to use the company’s technology for the highly automated logistics centre and with property owner NREP Logicenters to locate the logistics centre in Bålsta, northwest of Stockholm.
Significant events after the balance sheet date
• Axfood signed a cooperation agreement with the store chain Östenssons, which will become a Hemköp franchisee as from 1 September 2019.
• Axfood’s board of directors has decided to repurchase a maximum of 265,000 shares coupled to the long-term share-based incentive programme LTIP 2019.
Welcome to today’s web cast/conference call where President and CEO Klas Balkow together with CFO Anders Lexmon will present the interim report for the first quarter 2019. The presentation starts at 9:30 a.m. CET and can be followed via axfood.se or by phone:
Sweden: +46 8 50 55 83 57, UK: +44 333 300 9262, USA: +1 833 526 8382.
For further information, please contact:
Elisabet Johansson, Interim Head of Investor Relations, Axfood AB, tel +46 72 23 606 43
The information herein is such that Axfood AB (publ) is required to make public in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person listed above, at 7 a.m. CET on 25 April 2019.
This document is an English translation of the Swedish original. In the event of any discrepancies, the Swedish version shall govern.
Axfood aspires to be the leader in good and sustainable food. Our family of companies includes the store chains Willys and Hemköp as well as Tempo, Handlar’n and Direkten. B2B sales are handled through Axfood Snabbgross, and our support company Dagab is responsible for the Group’s product development, purchasing and logistics. The Axfood family also includes Mat.se, Middagsfrid and Urban Deli as well as the partly owned companies Apohem and Eurocash. Together the Group has more than 10,000 employees and sales of nearly SEK 50 bn. Axfood has been listed on Nasdaq Stockholm since 1997, and the principal owner is Axel Johnson AB. Read more at www.axfood.se.