FRANCE: Leclerc: Sales growth to slow in "difficult" year
Leclerc still expects to increase its market share
French retailer E.Leclerc has forecast its sales growth will slow in 2014, a year it expects to be "difficult" for consumers.
The company estimated its revenue will increase 3.5-4%, compared to the 4.4% rise it saw in 2013.
However, E.Leclerc expects to gain more of the French grocery market this year. Its market share rose 0.8% in 2013 and the retailer has forecast a further 0.5% increase this year.
In 2013, E.Leclerc's turnover reached EUR45.6bn (US$62.36bn). Excluding fuel, sales were up 4.7% at EUR36.5bn.
In France, sales were up 4.9% excluding fuel at EUR33.9bn. Leclerc pointed to its "commitment" to low prices. "In a context of declining purchasing power and gloom is not conducive to consumption, E.Leclerc is still the least expensive brand," it said.
The retailer also pointed to a 63% jump in sales from its click-and-collect Drive stations. Sales reached EUR1.47bn after a year in which E.Leclerc opened 175 stations to take its network to 446.
SG GALEC (E Leclerc) will continue to promote its stores as being less expensive compared to the key competitors in the hypermarkets channel: Low-prices are a key point for consumers during the econom...
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