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Retailer Kesko Reports Record First Quarter Profits

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A K-Market grocery store sign, archive photo. Kesko said his online grocery sales increased by more than 300% at the start of the year.

Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Retail group Kesko posted the best results for the first quarter in its history, according to a stock release issued by the company on Wednesday.

The CEO of the group Mikko Helander said sales increased across all divisions of the company, with net sales increasing 5.9% to € 2.53 billion.

At the same time, the company’s comparable operating profit increased by more than 51 million euros to 116.2 million euros.

The company’s grocery division, which includes its K-brand supermarkets, recorded retail sales growth of 6.1%. Meanwhile, the company said its online grocery sales increased by more than 300% at the start of the year.

Net sales also increased 7.7% in its building and technical trade division and 16.8% in its new and used car trading business, the company said.

“The outlook for 2021 is positive. We estimate that Kesko’s comparable operating profit in 2021 will be between 570 and 670 million euros. It is still difficult to anticipate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and therefore the range of our Comparable operating income forecast for 2021 remains wide, “Helander said in the statement.

OP Financial Group on the rise

Meanwhile, according to the CEO of OP Financial Group Timo Ritakallio, OP’s first quarter profits (265 million euros) were twice that of the first quarter of last year (129 million euros).

The CEO said the group saw better results across all of its businesses in January-March, with a 7% increase in customer revenue to a record high of 743 million euros.

Positive developments in the stock market also helped in the first quarter, Ritakallio said in a statement.

The group said good consumer confidence in personal finance was also reflected in the positive results.

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