The SPAR Austria Group has released its 2017 results, recording gross sales of €14.64 billion – an increase of 6.5% compared to the previous year. This strong growth was driven by expansion in Austria and abroad, in particular the acquisition of 40 Billa stores in Croatia.
In Austria, SPAR’s gross sales increased to €6.7 billion in 2017. With a sales increase of 4.6%, SPAR was the growth leader in the full-range supermarket sector in Austria for the eighth year in a row.
Investing in retail
In total, the SPAR Austria Group invested €650 million in its network in 2017, growing total store numbers by 90. New stores were opened in Austria and abroad, existing stores were modernised, production facilities expanded and SPAR Austria’s own training academy was renovated.
In 2018, the SPAR Austria Group is planning to invest €700 million, which will go towards the development of a new Distribution Centre in Italy and further expansion in Austria and abroad.
The Group’s store portfolio now includes 175 INTERSPAR Hypermarkets, 2,689 SPAR and EUROSPAR Supermarkets, 210 Hervis sports stores and 29 shopping centres.
SPAR Own Brand growth
SPAR Austria continued to grow its own brand portfolio in 2017, seeing sales increase by 7.4%. The low-priced S-Budget range achieved sales growth of almost 10%, while the organic line, SPAR Natur * pur, grew by 20% and the SPAR Premium range by 29%.
“Our own brands are extremely successful and up-to-date,” said Gerhard Drexel, CEO SPAR Austria Group. “The sales share of our own brands exceeded 40% in Austria.
“In addition to taste and origin, our focus regarding own brands is on health. In 2017, we launched a great initiative to reduce sugar in SPAR Own Brands. So far, we have reduced sugar in 50 own brand products and 300 more will follow.”
Investing in People
The SPAR Austria Group reached the milestone of 80,000 employees in 2017. In Austria, where SPAR employs more than 44,000 people, including 2,300 trainees, 1,200 new jobs were created. Outside of Austria, there were almost 2,500 new hires last year. The SPAR Austria Group includes operations in Northeast Italy, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.
The total number of trainees across the SPAR Austria Group amounts to 3,300.
About SPAR Austria
The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954 when the first SPAR organisation was established, after being granted the licence to operate the SPAR Brand by SPAR International. The current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company.