Kesko's interim report for 1 Jan.- 31 March 2022: Best Q1 result in Kesko’s history thanks to strong performance in building and technical trade

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE IN BRIEF:

1-3/2022

  • Group net sales in January-March totalled €2,707.3 million (€2,539.4 million), an increase of 6.5% in comparable terms, reported net sales grew by 6.6%
  • Comparable operating profit totalled €143.7 million (€116.2 million), up by €27.6 million
  • Operating profit totalled €144.6 million (€115.7 million)
  • Comparable earnings per share €0.27 (€0.20)
  • Reported Group earnings per share €0.26 (€0.20)

 
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

  1-3/2022 1-3/2021 1-12/2021
Net sales, € million 2,707.3 2,539.4 11,300.2
Operating profit, comparable, € million 143.7 116.2 775.5
Operating margin, comparable, % 5.3 4.6 6.9
Operating profit, € million 144.6 115.7 775.2
Profit before tax, comparable, € million 131.6 99.6 710.4
Profit before tax, € million 128.9 99.2 712.9
Cash flow from operating activities, € million 71.0 155.1 1,152.0
Capital expenditure, € million 126.2 44.2 276.6
       
Earnings per share, €, basic and diluted 0.26 0.20 1.44
Earnings per share, comparable, €, basic 0.27 0.20 1.43
  1-3/2022 1-3/2021 1-12/2021
Return on capital employed, comparable, %, rolling 12 months 17.7 13.4 17.2
Return on equity, comparable, %, rolling 12 months 24.1 20.0 24.1

In this interim report release, the comparable change % in net sales has been calculated in local currencies and excluding the impact of acquisitions and divestments completed in 2021 and 2022. The comparable operating profit has been calculated by deducting items affecting comparability from the reported operating profit.

OUTLOOK AND GUIDANCE FOR 2022

Kesko Group’s outlook is given for the year 2022, in comparison with the year 2021.

Kesko estimates that its comparable operating profit in 2022 will be in the range of €730-840 million.

The company issued a stock exchange release on 25 April 2022 and raised its profit guidance. Before, the company estimated that the comparable operating profit would be in the range of €680–800 million. In 2021, Kesko’s comparable operating profit totalled €775.5 million.

Kesko has become the leading operator in Northern European building and technical trade. Successful strategic choices, including increased focus on B2B trade, improve our profitability. Demand in building and technical trade is expected to continue to be stronger than previously anticipated especially in B2B trade. In addition to strong demand, profit is expected to increase due to stronger-than-anticipated rise in prices.

In grocery trade, performance is expected to stay good. In particular, sales development and profit for Kespro’s foodservice business are expected to be stronger than previously anticipated.

Assessments for outlook and predictions for demand are made more difficult by uncertainties related to geopolitics, overall economic development, inflation, and the availability of goods, as well as by the Covid-19 pandemic.

PRESIDENT AND CEO MIKKO HELANDER:

Kesko’s first-quarter result in 2022 was the best Q1 result in the company’s history, thanks to the strong performance of the building and technical trade division. Our quarter-result has improved on its comparison period for 12 consecutive quarters. Our net sales grew by 6.5% in comparable terms, totalling €2,707 million. Our comparable operating profit totalled a record €144 million, representing an increase of some €28 million. Kesko’s profitable growth is based in particular on the right strategic choices and their successful execution.

In the building and technical trade division, good performance in all operating countries resulted in a record Q1 result. Net sales grew by €200 million and profit doubled year-on-year. Sales and profitability improved significantly thanks to the good performance in B2B trade, which now accounts for nearly 80% of the division’s sales – the figure has quadrupled since 2014. Construction activity is high in Northern Europe. Increased price inflation has caused the building and technical trade market to grow. Prolonged price inflation could cause delays in construction starts.

Our result in food trade was also good in Q1. The total food trade market in Finland amounts to some €20 billion: some 88% of the market is grocery store sales and some 10% foodservice sales. Consumer online grocery sales account for some 2% of the total market. In food trade, we have the most extensive network of grocery stores in Finland, Kespro’s market-leading foodservice business, and leading online grocery trade operations. Together, these form a versatile combination in food trade and Kesko is the only operator that is strong in all three areas. New players entering the Finnish food trade have not had a noticeable impact on Kesko’s grocery trade business. The development of our online grocery business does not differ between the Helsinki region and the rest of Finland despite new players entering the market in the Helsinki region. Consumption growth in foodservice has been fast as the pandemic has eased. Kespro’s net sales grew by over 27% and rose to a new record. Kespro has continued to significantly increase its market share.

In the car trade division, profitability improved despite availability issues. Profit improved thanks to sales margin growth and cost savings. Net sales were down due to delays in new car deliveries. The division’s operating margin improved and stood at 4.8%. The order book for new cars is record-high. We will continue to develop and transform our car trade operations in line with our strategy.

In March, Kesko’s Board of Directors approved a new ambitious sustainability strategy for the company, and tied management compensation to sustainability targets. The new strategy sets clear sustainability targets for the operations of Kesko and its three divisions, focusing on climate and nature, value chain sustainability, responsibility for people, and good governance. 

As a response to Russia’s offensive war in Ukraine, we made the decision in February to discontinue the purchases of Russian products and the export of food products to Russia. Our purchases from Russia have been very minor in recent years. The war and the sanctions imposed will have a significant impact on the global economy. We are actively monitoring the situation and will adjust our management and operations as necessary.

The outlook for Kesko’s business operations has improved. Consequently, Kesko estimates that its comparable operating profit in 2022 will be in the range of €730-840 million, while our previous estimate was €680-800 million.

IMPORTANT EVENTS

POSITIVE PROFIT WARNING 25 APRIL 2022

Kesko raised its profit guidance for 2022 on 25 April 2022. The company estimates that its comparable operating profit in 2022 will be in the range of €730-840 million. Before, the company estimated that the comparable operating profit would be in the range of €680–800 million.

Further information

Further information is available from Jukka Erlund, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, tel.
+358 105 322 113, Hanna Jaakkola, Vice President, Investor Relations, tel. +358 105 323 540, and Eva Kaukinen, Vice President, Group Controller, tel. +358 105 322 338.

Webcast and audio conference

An English-language audio conference on the results briefing will be held on 29 April 2022 at 9.00 am (Finnish time). A Finnish-language webcast of the interim report briefing can be viewed at 11.30 am (Finnish time).

Links to webcast, audio conference and other materials are available in Report centre

Go to Report centre

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