S Group’s result provides a solid foundation for the new strategy

S Group’s result continued to develop well in 2019. The improved result provides a solid foundation for the new strategy, in which S Group’s mission is “We make Finland a better place to live”. The new climate goals, most ambitious in Finland, are a significant milestone on this journey.


S Group’s operating result for 2019 was EUR 409 million, compared to EUR 355 million in the previous year. SOK Corporation’s operating result increased to EUR 71 million from the previous year’s EUR 59 million.

“The good result allows us to implement our mission in full. In true co-op spirit, a better place to live is built in cooperation with co-op members partners and all S Group employees, and it requires strong resources from us. When we’re doing well, the whole community is also doing better,” SOK’s Chief Executive Officer Taavi Heikkilä emphasises.

Cooperative activities and co-op membership are made more concrete, and their importance is enhanced through genuine actions. A key element of this are retail services of high quality and their continuous development. An example is the fact that almost all our 440 S-markets will be renewed over the next two years.

In addition to good services and benefits, customers will increasingly be provided with information and possibilities to choose, and affect their lives and that of their whole community. At the core of this concept is the My Purchases service of S-mobiili, which took several quantum leaps in 2019 and will continue on that track this year.

S Group to be carbon negative in 2025

S Group has set new climate goals, the most ambitious in Finland.

“Our goal now is to reduce our atmospheric emissions by 90 per cent from the 2015 level by 2030. The previous goal for the same period was 60 per cent. At the same time, we want to be the first Finnish group of companies to be carbon negative as early as 2025,” Heikkilä says.

S Group has already advanced in its climate efforts more quickly than planned, e.g. due to improved energy efficiency and increased wind power generation. In addition to wind power, our major investment in solar power has quickly made S Group the largest producer of solar power in Finland. At the beginning of 2020, there were 50,212 solar panels in our places of business. At the end of the year, the number of solar panels is expected to exceed 70,000.

100 per cent of the electricity used by S Group is emission-free, and at least 60 per cent of this comes from the Group’s own renewable energy sources. Renewable energy plays an important role in S Group’s climate work, and we will continue our efforts to increase its relative share.

In recognition of its climate work, S Group achieved the best Leadership level in the international CDP assessment and was awarded a grade A as the only trade sector operator in Finland. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an independent global organisation established by NGOs in 2000. Every year, it applies uniform criteria to assess the environmental work of thousands of companies.

Travel industry and hospitality in top shape

The rising trend in the results of S Group hotels and restaurants has been going strong since 2014 and continued to develop further in 2019. For example, SOK’s subsidiary Sokotel Oy, which operates hotels in the Helsinki metropolitan area, is ready for constantly intensifying competition, because it has renewed or is in the process of renewing almost all its hotels, and opened its latest hotel, Original Sokos Hotel Tripla in January 2020.

S Group’s consumer goods trade, including the offering of home and clothing products in Prisma markets and Sokos department stores, also performed well. That trade has developed from a loss-making business into a profit-making business over the years, a significant achievement in the intense global competition between online trade and brick-and-mortar shops.

S Group’s and SOK Corporation’s key figures for January–December 2019

S Group as a whole (cooperatives + SOK Corporation), January–December 2019:

  • Retail sales before taxes totalled EUR 11,713 (11,523) million.

  • Operating profit was EUR 409 (355) million.

  • Profit before appropriations and taxes was EUR 367 (346) million.

  • Investments totalled EUR 496 (598) million.

  • At the end of the year, there were 2,425,167 (2,398,295) co-op members.

  • Cooperatives paid a total of EUR 341 million in bonuses to co-op members.

  • An averageamount of EUR 165 was paid to co-op member households during the year, when including payment method-related benefit, return of surplus and interest on the membership fee, in addition to bonuses.

  • At the end of the year, the number of employees was 37,764 (37,931). The number has been calculated on the basis of active employment relationships.

  • This year, S Group will employ some 14,000 summer employees.

  • The total number of outlets at the end of the year was 1,854 (1,841).

SOK Corporation (SOK + subsidiaries), January–December 2019:

  • Net sales (IFRS) were EUR 7,497 (7,304) million.

  • Operating profit (FAS) was EUR 71 (59) million.

  • Profit before taxes (IFRS) was EUR 67 (55) million.

  • Investments totalled EUR 73 (113) million.

  • At the end of the year, the number of personnel was 7,095 (6,885). The number has been calculated on the basis of active employment contracts.

SOK Corporation’s financial statements bulletin for January–December 2019 will be published in the S-kanava online service on 10/02/2020. S Group’s annual and responsibility reports and SOK Corporation’s 2019 financial statements, including notes, will be published in March 2020.


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