Investments 50 million euros in 2023 (and 280 million euros in the four years until 2026) is launched by Meter in news stories“green” infrastructure, omnichannel and people, but with a problem to fill 1,147 vacancies, mainly in tourist areas and in some technical roles.
The group, which closed 2022 with a turnover of more than 1,500 million euros and is aiming for 1.58 million euros in 2023, with profits of more than 30 million euros, systematically invests in people. It employs some 11,500 workers, offering €8.5 million in extra benefits last year. It made 2,048 contracts last year, although 2,236 workers left, 148 of whom were temporary. As Aristotelis Panteliadis, president and CEO of Metro, said yesterday at a press conference, his company is looking for people, but is facing a lack of offers. He emphasized the need to have policies for a comprehensive solution to the problem faced by other companies in the country, while initiatives are developed within the group. Such is the use of signs and images at cash registers, but also in other positions, such as distribution centers, so time-consuming training is not required and language problems are solved when the employee is not Greek. It should be noted that to solve language problems, Metro also offers the possibility of issuing a ticket in English for tourists who want it, launching this function in its stores on the islands.
Strong performance and deflation.
Describing the trends in the market, Mr. Panteliadis noted that there are still price increases, but price reductions have also started in categories with significant increases in the past period, such as seed oils, stationery and milk-based products from cow.
According to Metro data, food inflation has slowed faster in recent months. Thus, compared to 15.1% in the ELSTAT index for March, according to Metro data, domestic inflation in retail trade fell to 11.1% in April and to 8.2% in wholesale.
Inflation, which imposed a premium on Metro billing in 2022, is expected to also affect performance in 2023, although it weighs on consumption and profitability. In terms of profitability, the Metro group showed an EBITDA increase of 13.3% over 60.5 million euros in 2022, with a profit before taxes of 28.4 million euros, 26.8% more.
The increase in profitability in a difficult year is attributed to the investments of the last 2-3 years, mainly for energy savings. In fact, there is optimism that the investments launched today, around 50 million euros (not including the investment in a distribution center in Aspropyrgos), will support the profitability of the company in the coming years.
Likewise, the increase in billing in 2022 by 9.5%, at inflation levels, is considered satisfactory. These are the sales of the My Market and Cash & Carry store networks, in physical and digital channels, as well as the activity of the group’s subsidiary in Cyprus.
Large corridors also did well in 2022, due to circumstances, according to Metro management, which considers that this trend -which favors the market leader with the most hypermarkets- will balance out as of this year, returning demand to medium-sized stories. In this context, Metro, having launched a new concept of “convenience stores” (convenience stores), under the brand My local market, considers itself “on the wave”, as characteristically expressed by Mr. Panteliadis.
In fact, in 2023 it plans to open 25 new stores, which will reinforce the current network of 233 stores, highlighting the local brand My market, for which a goal of 80 points of sale has been set for 2025. There is optimism that The objectives will be met, since Metro offices receive around 100 applications per month for franchise associations. It should be noted that this particular brand is being developed exclusively with the franchise model, while its sale to franchisees and the pilot, the first opened with investment from the company, are planned.
Investments in Metro Cash & Carry and Logistics
The group further strengthens its position in wholesale as it plans to add 3 centers and a dark store in Rhodes to the existing network (Metro Cash & Carry has 1 delivery center, 48 stores and 7 hubs) in 2023. That is, it will add 4,815 m2. in the cash & carry sector.
In addition, it also reinforces the cash & carry digital sales channel, which increased by 50% in value last year, contributing 4.5% of turnover. In fact, in addition to the 85 people in sales, Metro plans to launch an AI virtual personal digital sales advisor starting in September. As of March 2024, it will be able to process requests and make suggestions to the client.
Meanwhile, the supply chain was significantly strengthened with the renovation and expansion of the Northern Greece Distribution Center. With 3 large distribution centers and one small one, Metro has just over 100,000 m2. warehouses, launching the next step, a distribution center in Aspropyrgos, which will replace the existing infrastructure in Mandra and a small center in Aspropyrgos.
Investments in digital and energy transformation
The company systematically invests in social media and omnichannel sales strategy, launching a new e-shop platform and integrating it with the My market site. The goal is to update the content and increase traffic, which in 2022 exceeded 6.2 million visits for Mymarket.gr and 9.5 million visits for Eshop.mymarket.gr. Additionally, Metro will partner with platforms like Wolt and Instashop starting in November 2021 and August 2022, respectively. It has also launched a new 1-hour delivery service, the Speedy platform, with a fixed rate of €3.
Another service that is being tested is ‘No Queue’. It will operate in 6 stores in Attica until the end of May, while it is aimed at a public that wants comfort and chooses premium products. It also adopts a self-checkout service, real-time EDI and cooperation with a platform that speeds up new product registration processes for more direct cooperation with suppliers.
Metro is also promoting “green” investments, some 18 million euros in 97 photovoltaic projects, as well as energy-efficient refrigerators, reducing the energy it consumes. It is also reinforcing the network of electric vehicle chargers in its network of stores. Today, more than 30% of the activity’s energy requirements are covered by RES developed at the company’s facilities. However, for energy alone, the additional cost reached €8.9 million in 2022 compared to 2021, while the additional cost in 2021 was an additional €8.3 million. There are optimistic messages for 2023.
expansion in cyprus
Metro is also expanding in Cyprus, where it has completed 3 years of operation. MCC Best Value sales increased by 57% last year, while in the 4th month of 2023 the increase amounts to 39%. It should be noted that the company has invested in a 400 kW photovoltaic installation on 2,000 m2. from the roof of the Limassol store and expands using a 6,500 m2 piece of land that he bought in Nicosia. Plans to develop the second Best Value For Professionals store, with a size of 3,000 m2.
See Metro’s financial results in detail HERE
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