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November 13, 2013

SLOVENIA: Losses narrow at Balkans retailer Mercator

Losses at Balkans retailer Mercator fell in the first nine months of 2013 despite lower revenues.

By Dean Best

Losses at Balkans retailer Mercator fell in the first nine months of 2013 despite lower revenues.

The Slovenia-based company said it ran up a EUR17.6m (US$23.7m) loss in the period to the end of September. A year earlier, it booked a loss of EUR22m.

Cost control helped Mercator’s bottom line as the retailer’s sales declined. Revenue was down 3.6% at EUR2.06bn as Mercator quit Albania and Bulgaria, as well as closed stores in other markets.

Mercator runs a variety for store formats across five markets – Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzigovina and Montenegro. Some 569 of its 1,263 company-run outlets are so-called “neighbourhood stores”. The retailer is revamping these outlets with a greater focus on fresh produce.

In June, Croatian retailer Agrokor agreed a deal to buy a majority stake in Mercator for EUR240m, creating one of the largest retail companies in Central and Eastern Europe, with annual revenue of around EUR7bn.

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