ICA Gruppen: year-end report 2021

Stockholm / SE. (ica / eb) Even before Russia’s predatory invasion of Ukraine, Sweden’s ICA Gruppen AB announced its year-end report 2021 with «strong performance during a volatile year».

(Editor’s note:) Fiscal 2022 will not be any better in Sweden and globally – after Homo Sovieticus unleashed his hellhounds and jailbirds on February 24 to destroy Ukraine, wipe out its culture and slaughter civil society. Russia’s reputation is ruined. Gerhard Schröder’s reputation is ruined finally. Germany’s Chancellor from 1998 to 2005 has shrunk to the statue of Vladimir Putin’s lapdog and is far from what citizens may expect from a former chancellor. However: Germany is not Schröder. Homo Sovieticus has failed and thrown Russia’s people back into darkness. There is no way out anymore, and certainly not to the civilized world. Nations like Belarus, Syria, North Korea and big brother China were, are and remain its best friends (Editor’s note end).

Just a few weeks before this tragedy began, ICA Gruppen CEO Per Strömberg commented fiscal 2021 as follows: «We can now sum up the full year 2021 – a year characterised by continued volatile markets, but for which we can show favourable performance for our businesses. Important steps have been taken in our future-oriented projects, and given the conditions, sales and earnings performance were favourable for the various parts of the Group. In addition, we succeeded in maintaining the operating margin at the same high level as in 2020.

«The sustainability issue is growing increasingly important in our real estate operations, and extensive work is in progress to reduce the environmental and climate impacts both from existing properties and from new construction. In this regard, several of our ongoing projects meet the highest standards for sustainability. We can also note that we have concluded our first year with our new climate targets, and our journey to net zero emissions by 2030 is under way. During 2021 we reduced our emissions of CO2 equivalents by 14% from 2020.»

Milestones in key points

  • Continued strong earnings performance for Apotek Hjärtat and higher market share
  • Stable earnings for Rimi Baltic in challenging market
  • ICA Bank launches home mortgages and improves earnings
  • ICA Sweden – start-up of automated e-commerce warehouse in Stockholm
  • ICA-handlarnas Förbund and AMF make public acquisition offer to ICA Gruppen’s shareholders

Fourth quarter 2021

  • Consolidated net sales increased by 0.8% to SEK 32,860 million (32,593)
  • Operating profit excluding items affecting comparability decreased to SEK 1,298 million (1,371)
  • Profit for the period was SEK 1,043 million (919). This includes the net result of divestments and impairment losses, totaling SEK +6 million (-47)
  • Earnings per share were SEK 5.16 (4.54)
  • Cash flow from operating activities, excluding ICA Bank, was SEK 2,379 million (3,772)

Events after the end of the quarter

  • ICA Gruppen shares delisted – last day of trading 13 January 2022
  • Voluntary repurchase offer to holders of outstanding Notes
  • Extra general meeting on 3 February 2022
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