EROSKI supermarkets have seen a big pandemic boost of a 30% rise in operating income which hit €252 million last year.

The company’s sales rose by 2.1% in 2020 compared to the previous year’s total.

The improved figures are mirrored by all of Spain’s supermarket chains.

Eroski said that its online business grew by 82% boosted by lockdown restrictions.

The company has gone through a major restructuring in recent years with a number of closures, especially in the south-east of the country.

Nevertheless, it still has almost a thousand outlets and last year saw a 13% rise in sales in northern Spain, where it was formed in 1969.

Eroski President, Agustín Markaide, said: “2020 will go down in history as an exceptional year due to the incidence of COVID that has conditioned all social and business life.”

“The general performance of Eroski has been very positive, although some businesses such as gas stations and sports have suffered a significant negative impact.”

The company added that the growth in turnover was achieved amid a 3.5% reduction in the group’s sales space in Spain.

Eroski reduced its total commercial area by 40,000 square metres due to the closure of hypermarkets outside northern Spain.

In 2020, Eroski slashed its debt by €140 million to an overall reduction of over €2 billion since 2010.

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