President and CEO Mikko Helander: Kesko posted its 7th consecutive record annual result in 2021
Kesko recorded the best result in the company’s history in 2021 and its Q4 result was also record-high.This was the seventh consecutive year that Kesko’s annual result improved, and 11th consecutive quarter where profit was up on the comparison period. Our sales and profit have been growing for several years, which is a strong indication that our growth strategy is working and being successfully executed. In 2021, our net sales grew by 8.2% in comparable terms, totalling €11,300 million. Our comparable operating profit amounted to a record €776 million, representing an increase of €208 million.
Our good ability to produce a profit and strong financial position enable investments in growth and good dividend capacity. Kesko’s Board proposes to the Annual General Meeting a dividend of €1.06/share, totalling nearly €421 million, proposed to be paid in four instalments.
We made a record result in the grocery trade division in 2021. We managed to grow sales and improve customer satisfaction and profitability. The division’s net sales grew by 3.1%, and its comparable operating profit rose to €443 million. Profitability in grocery trade is among the best in the world, with a comparable operating margin of 7.5%. Net sales and sales continued to grow in both grocery stores and foodservice. Online grocery sales grew by 14.2% despite the strong comparison figures. Our strength in grocery trade lies in our extensive network of physical grocery stores combined with efficient online sales and our foodservice business as well as our well-functioning retailer business model. Our strategic objective is to grow sales and improve customer experiences further.
We also achieved a record result in the building and technical trade division, where sales and profitability improved in all business operations. The success is based on the successful execution of our country-specific strategies, combined with good demand. Strong growth continued, driven in particular by B2B trade. Net sales in 2021 grew by 14.7% and totalled €4,388 million. The comparable operating margin for the division rose to a new level of 7.2%. The growth has been underpinned by the good development of the construction markets and high product price levels. In Finland, performance continued strong for Onninen and K-Rauta. Sales and profitability developed well also in Norway and Sweden, in both technical trade and building and home improvement trade. Profitability was also supported by the changes made in recent years, and the acquisitions completed and their successful integration. In line with our strategy, we have focused on B2B trade, which now accounts for 75% of the division’s sales. International operations account for an increasing share of the division’s net sales, now totalling 46%.
Our transformation process in the car trade division is proceeding well and yielding results. Net sales for the division in 2021 grew by 15.2% and totalled €1,028 million. The division’s profitability improved, and the comparable operating margin rose to 5.1%. All operations within the division – new cars, used cars, and services – were profitable. Measures conducted to restructure operations and improve their efficiency, a competitive range, and the growing demand for new and used cars resulted in growth in sales and profitability. Demand for all-electric cars and rechargeable hybrids grew in particular. The global component shortage limited the availability of new cars.
Overall, the outlook for Kesko's business in 2022 is positive. Kesko estimates that its comparable operating profit in 2022 will be in the range of €680-800 million. We will continue our efforts to grow our sales and improve profitability.
I want to thank all our customers, shareholders, employees, K-retailers and their staff, and our partners for the valuable work you did towards Kesko’s and our shared success in 2021.
KESKO'S 2021 FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE IN BRIEF:
- Group net sales in January-December totalled €11,300.2 million (€10,669.2 million), an increase of 8.2% in comparable terms, reported net sales grew by 5.9%
- Comparable operating profit totalled €775.5 million (€567.8 million),
- Comparable operating profit grew by €207.7 million.
- Operating profit totalled €775.2 million (€600.2 million)
- Comparable earnings per share €1.43 (€0.97)
- Reported Group earnings per share €1.44 (€1.09)
KESKO'S Q4/2021 PERFORMANCE IN BRIEF:
- Group net sales in October-December totalled €2,870.3 million (€2,662.3 million), an increase of 7.2% in comparable terms, reported net sales grew by 7.8%
- Comparable operating profit totalled €203.5 million (€165.6 million), comparable operating profit grew by €37.9 million.
- Operating profit totalled €204.9 million (€155.6 million)
- Comparable earnings per share €0.40 (€0.31)
- Reported Group earnings per share €0.41 (€0.29)