Kesko Group: All divisions generated good results in 2023

Kesko / FI. (kkc) All divisions generated a good result, Finland’s Kesko Group announced in its FY-2022 financial statements release. President and CEO Mikko Helander: «Our net sales for the year totalled EUR 11,783.8 million, and our comparable operating profit EUR 712.0 million. Our strong profitability shows that Kesko’s growth strategy and its successful execution in all three divisions have managed to yield results also in a more challenging operating environment. Our good ability to generate profits and our strong financial position enable investments in growth and also good dividend capacity. Kesko’s Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 1.02 per share, in total nearly EUR 406 million, be paid in four instalments.»

«In the grocery trade division, sales grew in both the grocery store business and the foodservice business. The good performance was based on our strong position in all areas of Finnish food trade. Kespro’s performance in 2023 was particularly strong. Improved purchasing power and slowing inflation have begun to have a positive impact on the market. Demand for premium products recovered in the second year-half. Campaigns and other marketing efforts strengthened our customer flows and sales. Tight price competition continued in Finnish grocery trade. Net sales for the division totalled EUR 6,351.6 million, up by 3.7 percent, and the comparable operating profit amounted to EUR 444.8 million.»

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«In the building and technical trade division, profitability remained good even though it declined year-on-year as construction activity and cycle weakened. Construction activity declined in all our operating countries due to inflation and rising interest rates. In the longer term, however, the outlook for building and technical trade is positive. Urbanisation, repair and infrastructure investment debt, infrastructure projects and the green transition sustain construction across cycles. We continued the determined execution of our growth strategy also in 2023, for example, by acquiring Elektroskandia in Norway and agreeing to acquire Davidsen, one of Denmark’s leading building and home improvement operators, thus expanding our operations to Denmark. The division’s net sales totalled EUR 4,193.2 million, down by 8.7 percent, and its comparable operating profit amounted to EUR 212.5 million.»

«In the car trade division, new car sales and the transformation of our operations have led to markedly improved profitability. Sales grew in all car trade business areas. New car deliveries grew clearly on the comparison period, and sales of used cars and services also increased markedly. Kesko’s car trade division today is a leading operator in the electrification of transport in Finland. The division’s net sales totalled EUR 1,262.3 million, up by 13.9 percent in comparable terms, while the comparable operating profit totalled EUR 82.6 million.»

«Kesko today is an efficient, profitable trading sector operator. Our good success acts as strong proof of the effectiveness of our strategy, which yields results also in a changing operating environment. Throughout the history of Kesko and K Group, our strength has been our ability to quickly adapt to our surroundings as necessary. A key objective for a listed company is to generate value for its shareholders. Over the past ten years, our total shareholder return – including the dividend suggested to be paid for 2023 – is approximately EUR 8.3 billion. At the same time, we have paid total performance bonuses of some EUR 308 million to our personnel.»

«I have had the privilege of leading Kesko for over nine years. My successor Jorma Rauhala will be heading a strong and modern international trading sector company that is set to continue to grow profitably also in years and decades to come. Kesko’s success has been built together. As I retire, I want to express my gratitude to all our customers, shareholders, the people of K Group, and our partners for their trust and collaboration over these past nine years.»