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Supermarket giant Sklavenitis grows but profits still elusive

Greece's largest supermarket chain Sklavenitis showed a sharp rise in turnover in 2018 following the merger with rival Marinopoulos but data indicates that a return to profitability may be harder than first thought. Retail spending in Greece is recovering from a 37 percent drop between 2008 to 2016 but at a slow pace amidst sluggish economic growth.

Greece's largest supermarket chain Sklavenitis showed a sharp rise in turnover in 2018 following the merger with rival Marinopoulos but data indicates that a return to profitability may be harder than first thought.

Retail spending in Greece is recovering from a 37 percent drop between 2008 to 2016 but at a slow pace amidst sluggish economic growth.

In 2018, the newly formed supermarket group showed earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of 17.7 million euros, versus a loss of 36.8 million euros in the same period a year earlier. According to previous forecasts, EBITDA in 2018 was expected to hit the 130 million euro mark.

Pretax losses for 2018 marginally exceeded 60 million euros, narrowing from losses of 109.8 million euros. Topline growth was impressive with revenue jumping by an annual pace of 25 percent to 3.1 billion euros in 2018.

The supermarket, which employs 26,700 people, has time to improve, based on its favorable debt profile. Three-quarters of its debt and leasing agreement totaling 901 million euros matures in more than five years with low-interest rates.

Nondas Chaldoupis

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