STA, 28 March 219 - The retailer Spar Slovenija increased its sales revenue last year by 3.6% to a record EUR 804m, director general Igor Mervič announced to the press on Thursday.
Net profit was not disclosed, with Mervič only saying that due to extensive investments, it was lower than in 2017, when it stood at EUR 13.1m, according to the publicly available annual report.
Owned by the Salzburg-based SES Spar European Shopping Centers, Spar Slovenija managed to increase its market share in Slovenia last year despite opening only one new shop.
Mervič attributed the record sales to improvements in logistics and "great independence, which allows us to operate like a local company, so to say."
While he did not want to provide concrete numbers on the market share, the business newspaper Finance has reported that it was above 23%.
At the end of last year, Spar Slovenija had a total of 101 shops, 21 franchise shops and nine restaurants in the country.
The retailer plans to open six new shops this year and invest in refurbishing the existing shops. "I can say that we are launching a major investment cycle," Mervič said.
Spar Slovenija intends to extend its range, in particular in organic food, products of its own brand and products for persons on special diets.
The construction of a large shopping centre in the Ljubljana borough of Šiška by SES, where Spar Slovenija will be the anchor tenant, is on schedule, but the opening has been postponed from this autumn to the summer of 2020.
At the end of 2018, the company employed 4,696 workers, or 95 more than a year earlier. Mervič noted that the Slovenian subsidiary had one of the lowest churn rates among all Spar subsidiaries.
In January 2018, Spar Slovenija launched an online shop for the Ljubljana area, and the plan is to expand it to other regions in Slovenia.
Its logistics centre in Ljubljana's BTC shopping district, which was damaged in a massive fire last December, is still being repaired. Its capacity will be at 90% in a month and the work is expected to be concluded by mid-June.