SPAR, a German subsidiary of French supermarket giant ITM Entreprises (Intermarché), expects to cut its 1999 operating losses in half this year. 1999 losses totalled €177m on turnover of  €6.7bn.

To achieve this, SPAR will be working more closely with its French parent, which holds a 75% majority stake. The strategy focuses primarily on gradually winding down the Eurospar fascia in favour of the Intermarché format. SPAR will also grow its popular hard discounter, Netto. SPAR believes a capital increase will be necessary to fund the restructuring, although parent company Intermarché is thought to have reservations.

The German group reported a 3% decline in turnover in the first nine months of 2000 to €4.76bn. Results were depressed by the poor performance of the Eurospar chain, which registered a 6.5% drop in sales to €1.07bn between January and the end of September. In contrast, Netto is performing robustly, reporting sales up by 14.1% to €1.48bn in the same period. Intermarché supermarkets in Germany also reported sales up "well above forecasts," the group said.