Six months of commitment to customers. To protect them from the price increases of raw materials and energy, while the industry asked for more updates to the price lists. With the strategic choice of sacrificing margins rather in order to meet the more than 5.7 million customers, who have grown by another 40 thousand units since the beginning of the year. And without forgetting the 25,000 employees for which Esselunga is preparing a program of measures for an overall economic commitment of approximately 10 million which will arrive shortly.
The numbers of the semester
Now that commitment of recent months can be seen in the numbers of the six-monthly report approved yesterday by the board chaired by Marina Caprotti. Against stable revenues – equal to 4.3 billion, essentially breaking even with less than 0.2% compared to the first half of a year ago, a record year of post-pandemic growth -, the gross operating margin was 214.6 million in contraction compared to 427, 1 million. Sign – they explain in Esselunga – of the investment made towards consumers. Shelf prices recorded an average increase of 1.7% against an average inflation of 7.4% received from suppliers, – with some companies that in a year saw five price increases – absorbed by 5, 7% from the group. In the first half of the year we had to face a particularly complex economic context, with the surge in inflation, the increase in the costs of raw materials and the energy crisis. This scenario has had and continues to have heavy repercussions on businesses and families and for this reason we are committed to offering convenience to our customers and protecting their purchasing power, said the president Marina Caprotti -. Already starting from November 2021 we made a strategic choice that led us to significantly absorb the increases received from suppliers in order not to completely download them to our customers. C.With this decision we have consciously given up a significant part of our margin. Not to mention the commitment to small suppliers – around 2,000 out of a total of 2,300 -, the most fragile. Now the group’s numbers from July to September show a round recovery.
It has absorbed the price increases
Esselunga has absorbed the increases requested by suppliers but also those of energy, the cost of which has risen in the bill with increases of 70% expected for the whole of 2022. And the final bill could have been worse if there had not been the contribution of the credit of tax to contain expensive energy. In these six months, the group has seen that consumers have changed their shopping habits, opting for a lighter cart, with a lower but more frequent receipt, reflecting different lifestyles and different choices: attention to the freshest products but also to the price. The large-scale distribution group led by general manager Gabriele Villa has invested heavily in Smart products that have the lowest price on the market in each category. Which now mark growth of up to 15%. The focus is always on new formulas, while maintaining the commitment to quality. And on investments, which in the half year amounted to 151.9 million and contributed to boost growth, thanks to the openings of the stores in Fino Mornasco, Turin Porta Nuova and a new LaESSE in Milan which brought 180 the number of stores to Italy .
Measures to support entrepreneurs
In short, Esselunga has done its part. The hope today that there will be an effort by the new government that will be born in October towards entrepreneurs – added the president – to face the current complex global economic situation and safeguard the development and stability of companies on the one hand and the serenity of families on the other. The group committed to the plans and numbers for the coming months on which Albino Rocca has been working, in Esselunga for 15 years, who will take on the role of CFO of the group from next week. There is also news on the board of directors and where Alessandra Cozzani, former CFO of Prada (will leave at the end of September), who joined the board in April, will assume the powers in the administration, finance and control area.