“2020 year was challenging for MAXIMA GRUPĖ, especially in the Baltics, where revenue growth was stagnating, however continuous expansion in Poland and significant e-commerce growth, has increased MAXIMA GRUPĖ’s 2020 revenue by 5.8%, which stood at EUR 4,226 million. Also, we reviewed our cost structure and significantly improved our results in Poland, which allowed us to improve operating profit. Last year, all of our 41 thousand employees dedicated a lot of efforts in order to ensure the availability of the necessary products and the safe shopping experience to millions of our clients” said Mantas Kuncaitis, the CEO and the Chairman of the Board of MAXIMA GRUPĖ.
MAXIMA GRUPĖ’s revenue growth continued in 2020, as it reached EUR 4,226 million, up by 5.8% from 2019. Despite COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures negatively affecting performance in the second quarter, Group Like-for-like (LFL) revenue rebounded in the third quarter and yearly LFL growth remained positive at +0.7% at constant exchange rates.
In 2020, MAXIMA GRUPĖ continued its expansion outside the Baltics and was able to increase its market share in Poland and Bulgaria with significant revenue growth of 13.7% and 22.2% respectively, while also maintaining strong LFL revenue performance of 4.9% in Poland and 5.6% in Bulgaria.
Meanwhile, growth in the Baltics was weaker, as LFL revenue in the Baltics decreased by -0.8%, mainly due to COVID-19 accelerated consumer shift from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce (e-commerce revenue is not part of overall LFL revenue). As a result, MAXIMA GRUPĖ owned e-commerce brand BARBORA revenue more than doubled in 2020 and sales of goods via e-commerce in the Baltics reached EUR 104 million, constituting 3.4% of total Baltics revenue.
MAXIMA GRUPĖ’s consolidated EBITDA, excluding non-recurring items reached EUR 374.7 million (up by 12.4% from EUR 333.4 million in 2019), while EBITDA margin improved from 8.3% to 8.9% in 2020.
Largest part of EBITDA increase (excl. non-recurring items) comes from Polish retail operations, as STOKROTKA became the second largest Group company not only in terms of revenues, but also in EBITDA (EUR +17 million vs 2019). Meanwhile, as COVID-19 pandemic began, Baltic retailers were managing the uncertainties by reviewing costs and various initiatives, thus leading to improved Baltics EBITDA of EUR +26.4 million with largest part of growth coming from Lithuanian retail operations. Bulgaria also showed substantial growth with EBITDA increase of EUR +4.6 million.
Reviewed cost structure allowed us to maintain the same number of employees and at the same time to increase employee benefits by 16% which in 2020 amounted to approx. EUR 49 million.
Net Debt of the Group remained basically stable compared to year end 2019. As a result, Group’s financial leverage improved substantially, as the Net Debt/EBITDA ratio decreased from 3.0x in 2019 to 2.6x in year-end 2020.
In 2020, MAXIMA GRUPĖ’s companies invested EUR 88.9 million in fixed assets, down by 32% from EUR 131.3 million in 2019. Despite lower levels of total investments related with lockdown measures, Group was still able to increase its store network by 93 stores during 2020, majority of which (73) were added under the STOKROTKA brand in Poland. MAXIMA GRUPĖ stores’ count reached 1,323 stores, up from 1,230 on 31 December 2019.
UAB “Vilniaus Prekyba”, the sole shareholder of MAXIMA GRUPĖ, approved stand-alone and consolidated financial statements of 2020, including profit distribution project, according to which as per dividend policy the amount of EUR 106 million was allocated for the payment of dividends.
After joining United Nations Global Compact initiative, in 2020 MAXIMA GRUPĖ released the first Corporate Social Responsibility report, which outlines its activities on commitment to uphold the ten principles of the Global Compact in areas of human rights, environment, labor, and anti-corruption.
In 2020, MAXIMA GRUPĖ dedicated its biggest efforts to manage the challenges, caused by COVID-19 pandemic by implementing the appropriate safety measures throughout all its value chain. Additional direct costs related to COVID-19 pandemic amounted to EUR 9 million on Group level (excluding discounts granted to lessees and indirect costs such as, e. g. working hours spent for ensuring safety of clients). This covered implementation of necessary safety measures in stores, warehouses and e-commerce centers, provision of safety means for employees and customers, as well as many other initiatives, related to COVID-19 response.
E-commerce platform BARBORA in Baltics became a key contributor to Group’s fight with pandemic, by increasing its capacities more than twice in less than a month. It is calculated, that within 2020, BARBORA’s services allowed the customers in the Baltic states to avoid at least 1.8 million social contacts by providing them a safer shopping possibility via home delivery or pick-up points. Furthermore, the Group launched online shopping in Poland and Bulgaria.
“The COVID-19 pandemic showed us, that we are nothing without our heroes – medics, pharmacists, policemen, volunteers, our employees in stores, warehouses, production, e-commerce and many others. We are grateful for their courage, strength, and hard work, staying at the front lines of our fight with the pandemic, irrespective of personal risk each of them had to take. Together with our employees-heroes and our business partners, we unified our efforts to provide our customers a safe access to daily products, as well as to provide aid to those who needed it most. We are proud on how much we have managed to achieve during these difficult times” – finished Mantas Kuncaitis, the CEO and the Chairman of the Board of MAXIMA GRUPĖ.