A successful 2019
2019 was a year in which we once again grew more than the market and improved our earnings at the same time that we made ambitious investments that will create value over time. We also continued our work for a more sustainable society and are well-equipped to continue meeting the challenges and opportunities that we will face in 2020.
President and CEO Klas Balkow’s comments on the year-end report 2019:
“It is with pride that I look back on the past year and the clear progress we made in many areas.
A strong fourth quarter rounded off a successful 2019 with good growth in our stores as well as in
e-commerce, and our net sales exceeded SEK 50 bn for the first time. We have all been able to follow Willys’ progress, but important to note is that all our brands and businesses are contributing to the steady strengthening of our market position.”
Fourth quarter summary
- Consolidated net sales amounted to SEK 13,040 m (12,370), an increase of 5.4%.
- Operating profit totalled SEK 487 m (425), an increase of 14.6%. The operating margin was 3.7% (3.4%). The new accounting standard for leasing (IFRS 16) had a positive effect on operating profit of SEK 45 m and on the operating margin of 0.3 percentage points.
- Net profit for the period totalled SEK 359 m (328), and earnings per share before dilution were
SEK 1.68 (1.54).
- Agreement signed with Witron on automation of Axfood’s new, highly automated logistics centre in line with previously communicated Letter of Intent.
Summary January - December
- Consolidated net sales amounted to SEK 50,740 m (48,085), and increase of 5.5%.
- Operating profit totalled SEK 2,288 m (2,025), an increase of 13.0%. The operating margin was 4.5% (4.2%). The new accounting standard for leasing (IFRS 16) had a positive effect on operating profit of SEK 174 m and on the operating margin of 0.3 percentage points.
- Net profit for the period totalled SEK 1,679 m (1,577), and earnings per share before dilution were SEK 7.87 (7.41).
Significant events after the balance sheet date
- The Board of Directors proposes an increased dividend of SEK 7.25 per share (7.00). In addition, the Board has decided to change the Group’s dividend policy, entailing payment of the dividend on two occasions.
- Capital expenditures in 2020 are expected to amount to SEK 900–1,000 m excluding acquisitions and right-of-use assets.
- During 2020 Axfood plans to establish 5-10 new stores.
- Simone Margulies took office as Managing Director of Hemköpskedjan AB on 1 February 2020.
Axfood will present the 2019 year-end report at 9.00 a.m. today at Norra Stationsgatan 80A, Stockholm. The report will be presented by Klas Balkow, President and CEO, and Anders Lexmon, CFO. To follow the presentation, visit www.axfood.se or call: Sweden: +46 850 558 350, UK: +44 333 300 9269, USA: +1 833 823 0587.
For further information, please contact:
Alexander Bergendorf, Head of Investor Relations, Axfood AB, tel +46 730 49 18 44
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 6 February 2020.
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.