ICA Gruppen: announces Q3-2023 interim report

Stockholm / SE. (ica) Sweden’s ICA Gruppen AB announced its financial results for the third quarter (Q3-2023) and the first nine months (9M-2023) of the current financial year. Price investments start to have an effect – improved volume growth and stable earnings are the results. Other highlights:

  • Sales in ICA Sweden’s grocery retail business increased by 4.1 percent compared with the same quarter in 2022 at the same time as earnings development was stagnant and the margin fell from 4.7 percent to 4.5 percent.
  • Sales for ICA Gruppen as a whole rose in Q3, mainly driven by high inflation, to SEK 36,943 million (SEK 34,544 million in 2022). The operating margin landed at 5.3 percent (4.9 percent) and operating profit at SEK 1,815 million (1,629).
  • Rimi Baltic delivered stable earnings but competition is razor-sharp with a major focus on price in the market.
  • Apotek Hjärtat could note 24 consecutive months with increased market shares. Above all, physical pharmacies showed very strong development.
  • ICA Bank had its strongest-ever quarter in terms of profitability, driven to a great extent by improved net interest but also by a comparatively stable development for credit losses.
  • In mid-October, ICA Real Estate completed another major transaction when the warehouse in Hacksta was sold. SEK 1.2 billion was released which will reduce our net debt.
  • After the end of the quarter, we announced that we are changing the e-commerce model in Gothenburg and therefore closing our e-commerce warehouse in Arendal.

(Source: ICA Gruppen AB)20231114-ICA-GRUPPEN-01

Comments by ICA Gruppen’s CEO, Nina Jönsson: «During the year we have carried out a number of measures to offset cost inflation and offer our customers even better value for money. We are now seeing the effects of this. The volume trend continued to improve during the quarter and taken overall we have a good result for the entire Group with continued positive development in our businesses. The earnings level in ICA Sweden was stable although margins were slightly lower than last year. We have gradually launched our strategic framework that we call Ambition 2030. There we have identified four customer-centred areas linked to our overall vision «We make every day a little easier». The four areas are «Find personal solutions», «Save time + energy», «Make sustainable choices» and «Get value for money» and to these we have linked what we see as key enablers: «Cost efficiency», «New technology» and «Attract talents». The four areas cover many of the issues that are important to today’s customers and where we can make a significant difference to everyday lives by strengthening our common offering across our businesses within food, health, banking and insurance. We have exciting years ahead of us.»

(Source: ICA Gruppen AB)20231114-ICA-GRUPPEN-02

Important events during Q3-2023

  • 03 July 2023: The remaining component, SEK 1.8 billion, of the Group’s bridge loan linked to the buyout from the stock exchange is amortised in full.
  • 07 July 2023: Jan-Erik Hellman is appointed as new CEO of ICA Real Estate. He joins ICA from Vasakronan and will take up his position at the end of 2023 respective start of 2024.
  • 12 September 2023: ICA Gruppen carries out a new bond issue of SEK 2.5 billion under the company’s Swedish MTN programme.

Important events after the end of Q3-2023

  • 02 October 2023: ICA Gruppen issues a bond for SEK 500 million.
  • 16 October 2023: ICA Gruppen announces that ICA Real Estate has sold the property that houses ICA’s warehouse facility in Västerås. At the same time, ICA Real Estate has signed a 15-year lease. The transaction releases approximately SEK 1.2 billion.
  • 17 October 2023: ICA Gruppen announces that a new model for e-commerce in the Gothenburg region will be introduced and that the e-commerce warehouse in Arendal will be closed down.