The strength of the euro has weighed on annual revenues at Spar International, the Netherlands-based retailer has revealed.

Spar said yesterday (27 May) that its worldwide sales climbed by 6.3% last year on a constant-currency basis.

However, with sterling, the Russian rouble and the South African rand among the currencies depreciating against the euro, Spar said the euro value of its sales was “relatively unchanged” at EUR27bn (US$37.62bn).

Nevertheless, Spar International MD Dr Gordon Campbell said the symbol group had achieved an “excellent result against the background of the onset of the global recession”.

A combination of organic growth and the positive impact of acquisitions helped Spar in certain key markets.

In Hungary, Spar acquired the Plus chain from Tengelmann, which led to sales growing 31%. Meanwhile, the merger of Spar’s business in the Netherlands with the Attent chain resulted in a 26% sales increase.

Dr Campbell said: “Our focus now is on the new country expansion programme and we are committed to grow Spar to remain one of the leading food retailers in the world.”

Earlier this month, Spar outlined plans to treble the number of its stores in China in the next few years.

In March, Spar signalled it would also look to further expand in Africa. The company is the third-largest retailer in South Africa and had stores in four other African nations.