Swiss retailer Coop says it grew at an above-average rate in 2017, with sales up 3.1% across the entire group and 1.4% in retail, lifting its market share.
In its annual results, it said group sales in 2017 amounted to CHF 29.2bn (£22.3bn), while profit rose CHF 10m to CHF 485m (£370m). Earnings before tax and interest were CHF 806m (£615bn), 5.7% more than the previous year.
Coop says it invested CHF 1.6bn (£1.2bn), while equity including minority interests rose to 47.9% of total assets. “As a result,” says the report, “the Coop Group remains on a very solid financial footing and thus has good prospects for further development”.
The retailer says it achieved a “very high level of sustainable product ranges” during the year, with sustainability sales amounting to CHF 4.3bn (£3.3bn) (+10.4%), while sales of organic products were CHF 1.4bn (£1.1bn) (+ 10.7%).
Coop says it is “the undisputed organic leader” in Switzerland.
Alongside environmental product innovations, Coop has reported strong process in online retail, where net sales rose CHF 267m to CHF 1.7bn. In the retail sector, net sales in the online business rose 19.7% to CHF 676m.
Online supermarket [email protected] continues to gain market share, says the report, posting above average growth of 10.5% with net proceeds of CHF 142m. There was also a significant contribution from its online IT, electronics and home store Microspot.
In the retail sector, Coop grew at an above-average rate of 1.4%, generating net sales of CHF 17.4bn, with supermarkets increasing customer frequency by 5.7% and growing net sales to CHF 10.3bn.
The retailer’s specialised formats grew by 2.8% in net sales to CHF 7.1bn. Interdiscount, Microspot, Fust and Nettoshop generated sales of over CHF 2bn, representing growth of CHF 51m, consolidating their leader position in the home electronics market.
Coop says it has the country’s densest retail network, growing its number of retail outlets by 41 to 2,295.
In the wholesale / production area, Coop reported net sales of CHF 13bn, an increase of 6.2%.
The Transgourmet Group generated net sales of CHF 9.1bn, a growth of 6.3% which further expanded its position as the second largest company in the European pick-up and delivery wholesaler.
Net sales of manufacturing operations grew 6.1% to CHF 4.3bn.
At the end of 2017, the Coop Group had 86,318 employees (+1,317), including 3,484 apprentices. A total of 55,375 people worked in Switzerland (+298).