Even a champion like Esselunga, who puts another excellent semester into cash, raises attention to the wave of price increases on raw materials that is sweeping the global markets and which risks having repercussions on price lists and therefore on consumers. In view of the problems that we will have to face in the coming months regarding the rise in prices and unemployment, – said the president Marina Caprotti – I hope that the government will pay attention, beyond the Pnrr, to industry and the real economy, protecting with concrete support measures the companies that continue to invest and create jobs in the country that are inexplicably forgotten today.
Growth and investments
The intervention of the businesswoman arrived on the day the group also nominated Gabriele Villa general manager. The manager knows the operational machine well, after 38 years of increasing responsibility. The board also approved the accounts for the first six months, closed with revenues up 6.7% to € 4.33 billion and a gross operating margin up 9.9% to € 427.1 million. Assets there are investments equal to 180.3 million in a six-month period that saw the opening of five stores and the creation of 850 jobs and the workforce increased to 25,525 employees. The board also took stock of the effort made by Esselunga in its supermarkets where shelf prices fell by 1.7% for the consumer, compared to an inflation of 1.1% received from suppliers and discounts to customers for 791 million, one hundred million more than last year. The summary that the group has absorbed over 2 points of increases.
We are satisfied with the data but we cannot fail to express a strong concern in front of the signs of inflation emerging from raw materials and the supply chain and which will inevitably put families and consumption under pressure, said Villa. For some time now, companies have been asking the government to accelerate the reduction in labor costs, which is important for labor-intensive companies such as large retailers. But also the facilitation of investments to continue growing.
As for the other items in the half year, net profit amounted to € 221.1 million (5.1%) compared to € 128.5 million (3.2%) in the first half of 2020, with a growth of 72%. The net financial position was € 1.834 billion, while the adjusted position was € 1.407.2. From a financial point of view, Esselunga also reaped the fruits of the commitment to sustainability, contained in the specific report presented for the first time a year ago. The group has in fact closed the liquidity credit lines expiring in August 2022, replacing them with three other Revolving Sustainability-Linked lines for a total of 300 million with a duration of 5 years, linked precisely to the achievement of two objectives of the 2020 Sustainability Plan- 2025 of the group. In fact, the line margin is also linked to the target relating to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions within five years.