14 Western European Countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom
SPAR had a very strong year in Western Europe, growing at 4.8%. In this region, SPAR benefited from a return in investment on store modernisation, particularly in the compact hypermarket as well as the neighbourhood / convenience channels. SPAR is operational in nine countries in the Eurozone and these SPAR Partners performed exceptionally well in 2016, growing to €15 billion retail sales, opening net 34 stores and increasing total selling area to 2.9 million m2. Despite the economic and political uncertainty of Brexit, SPAR in the UK had record results, adding 186 net new stores and growing by £223 million, an increase of 8.5% in local currency. SPAR in Europe benefits from customers demanding more convenience, as evidenced by the strong performance of convenience and neighbourhood channels across European grocery markets. With over 6,000 of these stores in Western Europe alone, SPAR is well placed to build on this strong position and shall continue to grow through the addition of both independent retailers and company owned stores.
9 Central & Eastern European Countries: Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia (ASPIAG Austrian SPAR International AG); Russia, Poland, Georgia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Ukraine
In Central and Eastern Europe, SPAR grew at an impressive 6.1%. SPAR Hungary, SPAR Slovenia and SPAR Croatia, owned and operated by ASPIAG (Austrian SPAR International AG), grew strongly. Hungary is the largest SPAR market in the region with over €1.67 billion turnover. SPAR Russia grew at 7.7%, continuing to show great resilience in the face of strong discount competition and cautious consumer demand.