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Sonae surpasses pre-pandemic results with 158 million profit to September – Trade



Sonae buys UK vegan food manufacturer for 75 million - commerce

After Sonae signaled a return to normalcy in the first half, reversing losses, it took just a quarter to go even further, even in the “difficult” pandemic. With a profit of 158 million euros to September, the group surpassed the results for the same period in 2019 (131 million euros).

These results were achieved after consolidated turnover reached a “record” of € 5,014 million after a 4.7% year-on-year growth, “mainly due to the positive contribution of Sonae MC and Worten, who continued to strengthen their leadership positions,” reports the group in a statement sent this Wednesday to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM).

Consolidated online sales also did not disappoint, although the comparison is based on the “extraordinary” 2020, with Sonae pointing out that the 29% increase is “a clear testament to the success of Sonae’s digital journey.”

Operating profitability also improved: Underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased 5.6% year-on-year to € 415 million, while EBITDA rose 23.1% to € 531 million, an additional thanks to “significant capital gains”. from investment activities “.

Sonae’s total investment in the first nine months of the year was € 355 million (operating capex increased by 10.1% to € 182 million), with a focus on mergers and acquisitions of € 174 million.

Between January and September, the group founded by Belmiro de Azevedo also demonstrated “strong liquidity generation, which he attributed to“ strong business performance and portfolio management activities, ”while reducing net debt (by 375 million a year). in annual terms up to 857 million euros).

Indicators that for Sonae provide “a very strong financial position that allows the group to face future challenges and explore emerging opportunities.”

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“Sonae’s business portfolio continued to show very positive results,” said Sonae CEO Claudia Azevedo, for whom the third quarter brought “encouraging signs” such as the “speed of the vaccination program” in the Iberian Peninsula, signifying a “clear macroeconomic recovery”.

Mainland owner withstands price pressures

Growth within the group has occurred in virtually all areas, starting with Sonae MC, which “continued to demonstrate strong sales figures.”

Supermarket owner Continente recorded a 5.3% increase in turnover (to € 3,883 million) and 2.3% LFL sales in the first nine months of the year, allowing it to “strengthen its leadership position with another increase in market share. “The progress made in the third quarter was driven by” strong food formats, “but also” sustained recovery “in other formats” after a long period of various operating constraints, “as well as” online businesses that continued to expand after the peak period of the pandemic. “

The group emphasizes that “despite some pressure on prices (eg energy costs)”, Sonae MC “was able to maintain a relatively stable underlying EBITDA margin” between July and September, “supported by increased productivity and continuous improvement. processes of their “main” business ”.

Worten, which posted a “strong” third quarter after a “difficult” second, ended the first nine months with a 3.6% increase in turnover (to € 803 million) and 11.8% LFL sales, a “positive result” that , together with the restructuring in Spain, contributed to the improvement in underlying EBITDA.

Shopping malls are growing free of restrictions

Sonae Sierra’s turnover also rose 4.2% in the first nine months of the year to € 107 million on a prorated basis, reaching a net profit of over € 6.2 million. Improving the context of the pandemic and easing restrictions in most European regions has allowed the mall manager to solidify “the path to recovery and sustainable production progress,” the group said. If, on the one hand, “sales of shopkeepers in the European portfolio were already very close to the level of 2019”, on the other hand, “the occupancy rate in Europe remained high – 95.6% at the end of September”.

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Sonae Fashion, on the other hand, experienced a 0.6% year-on-year decline in turnover to € 230 million, but “managed to show profitability growth” with an underlying EBITDA of € 10 million, six times. higher than recorded between January and September 2020.

In a year of business model change, with the start of its partnership with Banco CTT, Sonae FS is showing a “gap” in performance, but as the group points out, “it will soften over time and the growth of the loan portfolio is already higher than projected”.

Although turnover proportionately fell 3% to € 49 million by September, the gradual easing of restrictions in the third quarter of the year “had a positive impact on both activity and production” of the operation. Universo card with both above 2020 and 2019 values. Also MDS, from the area of ​​risk consulting and insurance, saw improvements in this quarter, resulting in increased sales and operating profitability both compared to 2020 and compared to 2019 …

Sonae IM was also active in the third quarter, posting a capital gain of € 5.4 million following the completion of the sale with other shareholders of all Bizdirect share capital to Claranet. The other, worth 5.1 million, comes from the sale of a stake in CB4, a company that provides proprietary artificial intelligence software for retailers, in which Sonae IM invested in the first quarter of 2019 and which was acquired by GAP.

On the contrary, during this period, he acquired a minority stake in Citcon, a US company that is considered a leader in digital wallet payment integration. In the end, the first nine months of the year resulted in better sales, with Sonae Im’s turnover growing 6.4% to 43 million euros, the group said in a statement.

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Look also at ISRG (Iberian Sports Retail Group, which includes Sportzone stores), which has “sales above last year and 2019,” and for NOS, whose turnover increased 3.1% in the first nine months of the year to over than one billion. the euro after a “strong recovery” is credited with a return to cinemas.

For 2000 jobs per year

In addition to financial results, the group stresses that direct support provided to the community (in the form of goods, skills or financial resources) has grown by more than 20% to € 13 million, also noting that more than 2,000 jobs have been created in the last 12 months. “Especially in food and electronics retail, shopping malls and financial services.”

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ERSE bans the cost of the Iberian contract mechanism from being included in electricity bills until April 26 – ECO



ERSE bans the cost of the Iberian contract mechanism from being included in electricity bills until April 26 - ECO

ERSE bans the cost of the Iberian contract mechanism from being included in electricity bills until April 26 – ECO

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Kazakhstan is preparing to supply oil to Azerbaijan instead of Russia – Oil



Kazakhstan is preparing to supply oil to Azerbaijan instead of Russia - Oil

In the international oil market, a new adjustment of black gold routes may occur. Kazakhstan is preparing to export its oil via Azerbaijan’s largest oil pipeline to circumvent Russia’s threat to close the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

After a Russian court threatened to cut off an oil route through which Kazakhstan exports black gold to the world, Astana is preparing to ship its oil from Azerbaijan’s largest oil pipeline as early as September, sources close to the case say, citing Reuters.

For about two decades, Kazakh oil, which accounts for 1% of the world’s oil reserves, was transported through the CPC (Caspian Pipeline Consortium) pipeline, which was sent to the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, from where the oil was shipped. the rest of the world.

However, in July a Russian court threatened to shut down the CPC pipeline to Kazakhstan, prompting the Astana government and foreign companies operating in the country’s oil sector to reach out to other possible partners to ensure that if Russia ceases to act as a bridge between Kazakhstan’s oil and the world There may be other transportation options.

Thus, one of the sources assured Reuters that the Kazakh oil company Kazmunaigas (KMG) is negotiating with the Azerbaijani side to export 1.5 million tons of oil per year through the Azerbaijani pipeline, which transports raw materials to the port of Ceyhan. , Turkey. The contract is to be signed in August, and oil on this route is to start in September.

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However, these agreements may not be enough to ensure that the world receives the same number of barrels of oil from Kazakhstan as before Russia’s possible production cuts.

According to the British agency, this partnership will bring 30,000 barrels of oil per day to countries buying Kazakh oil, which is very small compared to the 1.4 million barrels per day currently transported by CPC.

In addition, two other sources report that Astana is in talks to have another 3.5 million tons of crude oil annually exported via another pipeline to the port of Supsa in the Black Sea region from Georgia starting next year. In a Reuters report, KMG representatives declined to comment on the issue.

Kazakhstan can make a difference in the uncertain future

By seeking to sign these agreements, Kazakhstan can not only ensure its own economic viability, but also ensure that the imbalance between supply and demand for oil on the international market does not worsen.

Oil consumption is expected to rise to 2.1 million barrels a day this year, up 300,000 barrels from the previous forecast, according to International Energy Agency data released this Thursday.

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Caixa Geral de Depósitos may close 23 branches this month – Executive Digest



The union of workers of the CGD group companies, STEC, has published information received from the administration of Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), announcing that the bank intends to further cut costs and close 23 more branches during August, with more frequency in the Lisbon and Porto areas .

The union warns that with this closure there will be an “inevitable congestion” of other branches in these areas, pointing out that even now they are having difficulty responding to services and recalling that from 2012 to 2022 they left CGD more than 3,300 workers and 300 branches were closed in Portugal.

STEC points to the government’s statement that it “cannot abdicate its responsibility for territorial integrity” and that “it is essential that the state defines the strategic direction that the bank must take, namely its responsibilities in terms of the public interest “. … and the needs of the population, guaranteeing them a service of proximity and quality.”

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