"For the retail sector, last year was exceptionally difficult due to weak consumer purchasing power. With this in mind, we are cautiously satisfied with sales declining only one per cent last year", says Taavi Heikkilä, CEO of SOK.
S Group's grocery sales increased by 1.1 per cent year-on-year, totalling EUR 7,018 million. Consumer goods sales decreased by 4.3 per cent to approximately EUR 1,364 million.
Of the business areas, supermarket sales increased slightly compared to the previous year totalling more than EUR 7.8 billion, which represents an increase of 0.4 per cent. Supermarket sales include S Group chains selling grocery and consumer goods, with the exception of Sokos, Emotion and other specialty stores. Retail sales by department stores and specialty stores decreased by approximately 4 per cent year-on-year, totalling more than EUR 323 million.
In other business areas, sales decreased slightly. The sales of the ABC chain decreased by 2.3 per cent, totalling nearly EUR 1,774 million. The dramatically falling global fuel prices have had a major effect on the ABC chain's decreasing total sales. Sales in travel industry and hospitality business decreased by 2.0 per cent year-on-year, totalling almost EUR 798 million.
Some S Group cooperatives engage in automotive and automotive accessories trade and agricultural trade. SOK discontinued its automotive trade in 2013 by divesting six Automaa stores to Veljekset Laakkonen. The sales of automotive outlets maintained by cooperatives increased by 2.5 per cent in 2014, totalling approximately EUR 302 million. Three cooperatives engage in agricultural trade, with total sales decreasing by 6.8 per cent to approximately EUR 150 million.
S Group's financial bulletin and SOK Corporation's financial statements will be published on 12 February. A press conference will be held on that date in the auditorium of Ässäkeskus (Fleminginkatu 34, Helsinki) at 1 p.m.
Taavi Heikkilä, CEO, SOK, tel. +358 10 76 80200
Jari Annala, Senior Vice President, CFO, SOK Finance and Administration, tel. +358 10 76 82040