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President and CEO: Kesko's Q2 result was a strong performance in a challenging market

Mikko Helander | 27.07.2023

Kesko’s performance in the second quarter of 2023 was strong in a challenging market.
Our net sales totalled €3,104.7 million and were thus at the same level as the year before. Our comparable operating profit totalled €207.6 million. The Group’s cash flow from operating activities was good, and we continued investments in line with our growth strategy during the quarter. Kesko’s growth strategy and its successful execution in all divisions are yielding results also in a more challenging operating environment.

Kesko has a good strategy that focuses on its own strengths, the ability to respond quickly to changes in its operating environment and to constantly improve its efficiency, as well as a strong balance sheet that enables investments in growth

In the grocery trade division, net sales grew by 4.7% and profitability was at a good level. The division’s net sales totalled €1,624.0 million and its comparable operating profit €118.4 million. Grocery sales in K Group grocery stores were up by 4.6%: this fell short of the market, but less so than in the first months of the year. Campaigns and other marketing efforts have seen customer visits and sales in our grocery stores increase. K Group’s online grocery sales grew by 3.8%. The Norwegian Oda announced in the spring that it would be withdrawing from the Finnish online grocery market. Sales were also strong in Kespro’s foodservice business, where the 9.8% growth in net sales once again exceeded the market.

In the building and technical trade division, net sales decreased by 10.8% and totalled €1,148.8 million. The division’s comparable operating profit was €72.0 million. Profitability weakened, but still remained at a good level. Profit decreased in both building and home improvement trade and in technical wholesale as construction volumes weakened. Construction activity has clearly decreased in Northern Europe as a result of rising inflation and interest rates, especially in new construction. In technical wholesale, Onninen’s sales were at a good level. In Onninen’s biggest market – Finland – the operating margin remained at a good level of 8.2%. Our market share has continued to strengthen in our biggest markets Finland and Norway.

New car deliveries increased significantly on the comparison period, which caused the net sales and operating profit for the car trade division to increase. Net sales for the division grew by 24.9% in comparable terms, totalling €337.6 million. Sales grew in all car trade business areas. The division’s comparable operating profit was €24.3 million. The order book for new cars remains above normal levels. Sales development was also good in used car sales and services. Weakening demand has seen orders for new cars decrease clearly on the comparison period.

The current operating environment is challenging for companies due to, among other factors, rising inflation and interest rates. Kesko is in good shape to generate profits. We have a good strategy, which focuses on our own strengths. We respond quickly to changes in our operating environment, and have been able to constantly improve our efficiency. Kesko’s strong balance sheet enables investments in growth also in this economic cycle.

Kesko’s outlook for 2023 is positive. Transformation efforts and strategy execution have improved our ability to produce profit. We are specifying our profit guidance, and now estimate that our comparable operating profit in 2023 will be in the range of €680-760 million.


  • Group net sales in April-June totalled €3,104.7 million (€3,108.5 million). Net sales at the same level as the year before, in comparable terms down by 0.8%

  • Comparable operating profit totalled €207.6 million (€236.0 million)

  • Operating profit totalled €206.3 million (€238.3 million)

  • Cash flow from operating activities totalled €285.2 million (€262.4 million)

  • Comparable earnings per share €0.38 (€0.45), reported earnings per share €0.38 (€0.45)

> See all Q2 interim report materials

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