Exito Full-Year 2017 Net Profits Rise 500% Year-on-Year
Medellin-based multinational retail giant Grupo Exito announced February 21 that its full-year 2017 net profits rose five-fold year-on-year, to COP$217 billion (US$76 million).
Exito credited the improvement “mainly to solid operating results in Brazil,” lower interest rates in Brazil and Colombia, and productivity improvements corporate-wide.
Gross revenues rose 9.4% year-on-year, to COP$56.4 trillion (US$19 billion), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 24.4% year-on-year, to COP$3.6 trillion (US$1.27 billion), according to the company.
Synergies generated between its coordinated operations in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are now valued at US$100 million in EBITDA, according to Exito.
In Brazil, its “Pão de Açúcar” food store operations saw 8.2% sales growth year-on-year (measured in Brazilian Reais).
But in Colombia, a 2.8% contraction in average family buying power (as measured by Nielsen surveys) hurt domestic sales and operating results.
Despite those economic headwinds in Colombia, Éxito still managed to achieve domestic operating earnings of COP$11.2 trillion (US$3.9 billion) and EBITDA margin in Colombia hit 5.7%, the company added.
Also in Colombia, Exito “continued to focus on strengthening of its omnicanal [multichannel]” formats including the “Surtimayorista” cash-and-carry stores and the “Carulla FreshMarket” food-store formats.
Surtimayorista saw a 52.5% sales growth year-on-year thanks in part to the opening of eight new stores. Those stores borrow heavily from the “Assai” format as employed in Brazil.
Meanwhile, the first “Carulla FreshMarket” store debuted in Bogota, featuring a novel vegetable garden inside the store — enabling fresh-picked lettuce.
Also during 2017, Exito’s “e-commerce” sales in Colombia via computer and home deliveries grew 19% year-on-year, totaling COP$270 billion (US$95 million), according to the company. As a result. Éxito became Colombia’s number-one home-delivery service via its alliance with Rappi. Those sales grew 26% year-on-year.
The electronic “carulla.com,” “Domicilios Exito y Carrulla” e-commerce home-delivery services, digital catalogs and its “marketplace” web sites also recorded 51 million visitors and 837,000 orders last year. The “marketplace” platform for vendors and corporate partners now totals 700 companies — offering 50,000 products, according to Exito.
In addition, Exito now offers to pay customers that find cheaper prices at competing stores double the savings that they would have realized at a competitor.
Meanwhile, Éxito’s Colombia-based comercial real-estate division (Viva Malls) saw a 25% hike in sales by its retail occupants, according to the company.
As for Uruguay operations, store sales grew 7.7% year-on-year (measured in local currency), exceeding the 6.55% inflation rate, while EBITDA margin there hit 7.8% as measured in Colombian pesos. The Uruguay operation expanded by nine stores, rising to a total of 33 “Devoto Express” outlets.
In Argentina, Éxito’s real-estate division helped generate positive operating income, thanks in part to 170,000 square meters of space either remodeled or expanded at the San Juan and Rivera Indarte malls.
During 2017, Éxito added 69 new stores (either ground-up or conversions) corporate-wide. As a result, Éxito now has 1,573 stores: 574 in Colombia, 882 in Brazil, 88 in Uruguay and 29 in Argentina. Store space now totals 2.8 million square meters, while employee count stand at 140,000.
“Our strategic decision to diversify internationally is producing positive results for the organization,” added Éxito president Carlos Mario Giraldo.
“The competitive environment in Colombia is dynamic — and we’re facing it with innovative options including a deepening of our strategies in electronic commerce, the recent alliance with Rappi to optimize time-of-delivery to homes, and the expansion of Surtimayorista, the cash-and-carry format.
“We have great opportunities to grow and monetize our activities with real estate in Colombia and Argentina, as well as with the start-up of the coalition with Bancolombia via the ‘Puntos Colombia’ [reward program],” Giraldo added.
The “Exito” credit card in Colombia has now grown to 2.6 million cardholders, while the “Viajes Exito” travel-agency service saw a 17% sales hike year-on-year, to 210,000 clients.
The “Movil Éxito” cell-phone service in Colombia also saw sales jump 40% year-on-year, now serving 950,000 cell phones.