The Dia supermarket chain, which before the pandemic was going through a deep crisis, ended 2020 with losses of 363 million euros, which represents a decrease of 54% compared to those that had been left a year before, which were 790.5 million, according to what the firm reported this Thursday to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).
Group sales remained stable (+ 0.2%), up to 6,882.4 million euros, even though the chain has 6.9% fewer stores. It is the first time in five years that billing has been positive. If only sales are recorded in stores open all year round (excluding closings or openings), the increase is greater than 7%.
The 120% increase in online sales stands out, despite the fact that at the moment these only represent 2% of the total.
Sales “have remained stable even though the network of stores is smaller and this improvement is due to the transformation underway, “Stephan DuCharme, CEO of Dia, told a press conference.
Even so, in its results, the chain has weighed, among other things, andl negative impact of the devaluation of currencies in Brazil and Argentina (where it has shops) and the decline in tourism in Spain and Portugal. The Brazilian real depreciated 24% in 2020 and the Argentine peso did so by 33.7%.
Although in 2020 we Spaniards consumed much more at home than outside, and this was reduced by an increase in supermarket sales, many stores are located in tourist areas and the collapse in the arrival of foreigners has caused a drop in their billing.
Nonetheless, in Spain, sales grew 7.9%, up to 4,508 million euros, despite the fact that the chain has 7.5% fewer stores. This is because of the restructuring plan for its commercial park that Dia put in place before the pandemic broke out.
Stephan DuCharme has assessed that these results “demonstrate the daily progress that Dia makes in the achievement of its multi-year roadmap “.
This strategic roadmap focuses “on the new franchise model and improvement of the commercial offer, and shows that the changes put in place have paid off”.
This refers to the plan that the company had designed to boost sales and that was launched in 2019. According to the executive, “in 2020 operational and commercial improvements have been introduced in the four countries in which we operate” .
Ducharme highlighted the new commercial assortment proposal, “with the development of its own brand, which combines value for money and more attractive packaging”. “We have started to test a new store model in Spain with a more attractive appearance,” he pointed out.
These results are the first annual sales progress in the chain after the serious crisis that the chain experienced the two years prior to Covid, and which ended with the launch of a takeover bid by the largest shareholder, the change of management, and the implementation of a transformation plan to recover sales, who were slumped.