Muttenz / CH. (vh) After a good start to the year, Valora Group’s business was heavily impacted by the worldwide Covid-19 crisis. As a result of government orders to contain the virus during the first and second waves of the pandemic, mobility collapsed and footfall, especially at high-frequency public transport locations, dropped massively, during the lockdown months by up to -80 percent, Switzerland’s Valora Holding announced in late February 2020. The Group was forced to considerably reduce opening hours and close some of its outlets completely, with continuous adjustments in line with the dynamic situation. Throughout the year, about 5 percent of the Group’s points of sale (POS) were closed on average – peaking in April at about 20 percent – and about 30 percent were running with reduced opening hours (German-speaking readers have known the complete media release since the beginning of March 2021 under the title «Valora Holding zieht im Geschäftsjahr 2020 alle Register»).
Overall, the Retail formats were significantly less affected than the Food Service formats. This was particularly due to Retail benefiting from its broad product offering including not only food but also tobacco, press, non-food and services as well as from the more diversified POS network with currently more frequented locations such as shopping centres, agglomerations and service stations. While both Retail and Food Service formats experienced a recovery towards the end of the second quarter and particularly during the third quarter, the sales trend deteriorated again with the start of the second-wave lockdowns in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Food Service B2B pretzel business saw a significant temporary drop in orders during the first lockdown due to the weakened out-of-home food service market. In the second half of the year the sales decline was more moderate at -13.4 percent, due partly to the launch of new distribution channels and product innovations.
For additional information please refer to the company’s news release (PDF | 187 KB):20210430-VALORA-FY-2020