The group said in a press release on Thursday that its revenue went up by 0.8% to more than EUR 1bn in the first six months of the year and that revenue generated by retail, its core activity, increased by 6.6% to EUR 787m.
The group's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached EUR 50.5m, compared to EUR 44.6m the year before. "Improved performance is also evident in the higher EBITDA margin, which rose by 0.5 percentage points."
Normalised EBITDA in the first half of 2018 amounted to EUR 48.1m, which is EUR 6.1m more than in the same period last year.
The group's net debt amounted to EUR 771.1m at the end of June, which was EUR 80.8m less than a year prior. The press release stresses that Mercator continues to repay all of its obligations in line with set deadlines and conditions.
The core company Poslovni sistem Mercator generated a net profit of EUR 9.3m in the first half of the year, while its EBITDA was up 4.7% to EUR 36.9m. The company's normalised EBITDA was up by EUR 3.4m, reaching EUR 38.3m.
"The new strategy, new store concept, store refurbishments, and improved competitiveness of services have been yielding positive results in Mercator's core activity," the press release said.
Slovenia, where the group recorded a 0.8% increase in revenue, and Serbia, where revenue from retail was up 1.1% year-on-year, remain the most important markets of the group, Mercator added.
The group employed 20,570 people at the end of June, 9,700 of them in Slovenia.