FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE IN BRIEF:
- Group net sales in January-March totalled €2,828.0 million (€2,707.3 million), an increase of 4.4% in comparable terms, reported net sales grew by 4.5%
- Comparable operating profit totalled €125.9 million (€143.7 million), Comparable operating profit decreased by €17.9 million.
- Operating profit totalled €122.6 million (€144.6 million)
- Comparable earnings per share €0.22 (€0.27)
- Reported Group earnings per share €0.21 (€0.26)
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
|Net sales, € million||2,828.0||2,707.3||11,809.0|
|Operating profit, comparable, € million||125.9||143.7||815.1|
|Operating margin, comparable, %||4.5||5.3||6.9|
|Operating profit, € million||122.6||144.6||816.5|
|Profit before tax, comparable, € million||108.0||131.6||763.2|
|Profit before tax, € million||104.7||128.9||761.1|
|Cash flow from operating activities, € million||27.0||71.0||915.2|
|Capital expenditure, € million||231.8||126.2||449.2|
|Earnings per share, €, basic and diluted||0.21||0.26||1.53|
|Earnings per share, comparable, €, basic||0.22||0.27||1.54|
|Return on capital employed, comparable, %, rolling 12 months||16.1||17.7||16.9|
|Return on equity, comparable, %, rolling 12 months||23.8||24.1||23.2|
In this interim report release, the comparable change % in net sales has been calculated in local currencies and excluding the impact of acquisitions and divestments completed in 2023 and 2022. The comparable operating profit has been calculated by deducting items affecting comparability from the reported operating profit.
OUTLOOK AND GUIDANCE FOR 2023
Kesko repeats the outlook and guidance given in its financial statements release on 2 February 2023.
Kesko Group’s guidance is given for the year 2023, in comparison with the year 2022. Kesko’s net sales and operating profit are estimated to remain at a good level in 2023 despite the challenges in the company’s operating environment. Kesko estimates that its comparable operating profit in 2023 will be in the range of €680-800 million.
The guidance is based on an estimated relatively short recession in Kesko’s operating countries. Key uncertainties impacting Kesko’s outlook are developments in inflation and interest rate levels, and Russia’s ongoing offensive war in Ukraine.
In the grocery trade division, B2C trade as a whole is estimated to remain stable, and the foodservice market is predicted to continue to grow. Price inflation will support sales development in euro terms, but will also increase costs. Operating profit is expected to remain at a good level.
The construction market is expected to decrease somewhat compared to 2022. New building construction is estimated to decrease, but renovation building and construction related to the green transition are estimated to continue to grow. Operating profit is expected to remain at a good level also in building and technical trade.
In the car trade division, car availability is estimated to improve, but demand is estimated to remain below long-term average. Profitability in the car trade division is expected to remain at a good level.
PRESIDENT AND CEO MIKKO HELANDER:
Kesko’s result in the first quarter of 2023 was good despite a weaker operating environment. Our net sales grew by 4.4% in comparable terms, totalling €2,828.0 million. Our comparable operating profit totalled €125.9 million. Our good strategy and its successful execution in all business divisions as well as strong transformation are yielding results.
Profitability for the grocery trade division was good in the first quarter. The division’s net sales totalled €1,495.0 million, growing by 8.2%, while the comparable operating profit rose by €3.6 million to €83.9 million. Profit improved especially due to good progress in the foodservice business: Kespro’s net sales grew by 28.0%. The division’s profitability was good, with a comparable operating margin of 5.6%. Rising food prices are impacting customers’ shopping, as reflected in e.g. the growing popularity of private label and campaign products. Customer flows have grown. The basis for good progress in our grocery trade division is our strong position in all areas of Finnish food trade.
In the building and technical trade division, net sales decreased by 4.4% in comparable terms, totalling €1,074.7 million. The division’s comparable operating profit amounted to €32.6 million, down by €29.0 million from the very exceptional levels of the comparison period. In spring 2022, customers stockpiled products due to availability concerns caused by Russia’s offensive war and rapidly rising prices. However, results for the building and technical trade division have multiplied since 2019, i.e. the last regular year before the pandemic and war in Ukraine. In technical trade, Onninen’s sales were at a good level. Demand was particularly strong for products related to the green transition and to improving energy efficiency. In building and home improvement trade, sales declined especially in B2C trade, with demand decreasing also in B2B trade. During the quarter, we continued acquisitions in line with our strategy by acquiring Elektroskandia Norge AS, thus strengthening Onninen’s market leading position in the Norwegian utility wholesale sector. In Sweden, we acquired the solar power system wholesaler Zenitec Sweden AB.
In the car trade division, sales grew in all business segments. The division’s net sales were up by 27.2% as the availability of new cars improved, and totalled €264.8 million. The division’s comparable operating profit totalled €16.9 million, representing an increase of €7.0 million. The operating margin was 6.4%, thanks to growth in sales and the transformation and efficiency improvement measures taken. Sami Kiiski was appointed as the new division President and a member of Group Management Board as of 1 June 2023.
Kesko’s outlook for 2023 is positive. Transformation and strategy execution have improved our profit-making ability. We repeat our profit guidance and estimate that Kesko’s comparable operating profit in 2023 will be in the range of €680-800 million.
FURTHER INFORMATION, AUDIO CONFERENCE AND WEBCAST
Further information is available from Jukka Erlund, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, tel.
+358 105 322 113, Hanna Jaakkola, Vice President, Investor Relations, tel. +358 105 323 540, and Eva Kaukinen, Vice President, Group Controller, tel. +358 105 322 338. An English-language audio conference on the results briefing will be held on 28 April 2023 at 9.00 am (EET/EEST) The audio conference login is available on Kesko’s website at www.kesko.fi. A Finnish-language webcast of the interim report briefing can be viewed at 11.30 am (EET/EEST) at www.kesko.fi.
Kesko’s half-year financial report for January-June 2023 will be published on 27 July 2023. In addition, Kesko Group’s sales figures are published monthly. News releases and other company information are available on Kesko’s website at www.kesko.fi.
This is a summary of Kesko Corporation’s January-March 2023 Interim Report.