"We saw a favourable development of sales in both grocery and consumer goods trade. As we see it, we have been able to increase our share of the grocery trade market," says Taavi Heikkilä, CEO of SOK.
S Group's grocery sales in Finland increased by 3.8% and stood at EUR 6,775 million, The consumer goods trade sales increased by 3.9% and stood at EUR 1,235 million.
Last year was also a year of growth in the online food trade.
"S Group's online food trade increased by approximately 45 per cent from the previous year. Although the sales volume is still quite small, the direction is right and in line with our strategy," says Mr. Heikkilä.
The deregulation of opening hours from the beginning of 2016 took away the competitive edge smaller stores had had before. Although the change has affected the sales volumes of S Group's small shops, they are still doing reasonably well on the whole.
S Group hotels also saw a notable growth in their customer numbers last year. In addition to fashion, consumer goods sales increased especially in the beauty product segment. The world market prices of fuel continued to drop which in combination with the deregulated opening hours resulted in a decrease in the euro-denominated sales for the service station store and fuel trade.
S Group's result for 2016 will be announced on Friday 10 February 2017.
S Group's retail sales excluding taxes, Jan–Dec 2016
Sales (EUR million, entire S Group)
Change in comparison to Jan–Dec 2015 (%)
Service station store and fuel sales
Travel industry and hospitality business
Department store and speciality store trade