Dynamic start in 2012: Increase in turnover of over 5.1 per cent in Q1

– Turnover in Germany increased by 3.2 per cent to around 35 billion euros
– Turnover abroad rose by 3.6 per cent to 13.5 billion euros
– Number of employees increased by 3.0 per cent to 323,000
– Branch network consolidated by 1.1 per cent to 15,700 stores
– Turnover of independent retail trade at around 10 billion euros (+6.1%)
– REWE partner retailers increased turnover of over 11 per cent
– REWE Combine with record turnover of over 40 billion euros
– Discount segment increased turnover by 3.6 per cent to 10.3 billion euros
– National-Full Range Stores with 15.2 billion euros (+6.9%) strongest business segment
– International Full-Range Stores grew by 2.5 per cent to around 9 billion euros – National Specialist Stores steady at 2.5 billion euros (+0.3%)
– Upswing in Travel and Tourism: plus 5.1 per cent with invoiced turnover (4.6 billion euros)
– Investments increase to 1.4 billion euros in 2012

In 2011, the REWE Group once again impressively demonstrated its operational capacities in Germany and abroad: adjusted by the B2B business sold in the previous year, the total external turnover rose by 3.3 per cent to 48.4 billion euros. In Germany, REWE Group once again grew significantly faster than the industry with a plus of 3.2 per cent to 34.9 billion euros.

Although the consequences of the economic crisis are still affecting most Eastern European countries, the cooperative group increased its turnover abroad by 3.6 per cent to 13.5 billion euros. The proportion of turnover generated outside Germany remains unchanged at around one-third.

“The REWE Group ended the 2011 financial year with record turnovers. Despite the persistent fierce competitive situation, our companies recorded excellent growth in retail trade and tourism. All national and international business segments of the REWE Group have contributed to this increase in turnover. On the one hand, it demonstrates that we have successfully integrated our 2 numerous acquisitions of the previous years. On the other hand, we are able to grow organically by using our own resources with consistent, customer-oriented sales formats and, last but not least, through numerous innovations. The REWE Group has the economic strength and profitability to cope with the challenges in the discount segment and, at the same time, to invest in the modernisation of other business units”, commented Alain Caparros, CEO of the REWE Group, today (22 May) in Cologne, where the group presented its annual results.

The number of stores supplied in Germany and twelve other countries rose with a moderate plus of 1.1 per cent to 15,700 locations. In Germany, the REWE Group showed comparable development operating 11,000 stores (+1.0%) in the domestic market.

The number of employees in Europe grew to 323,000, a three per cent increase compared to 2010, of which 222,000 employees are in Germany (+2.6%) and 101,000 abroad (+3.9%). As one of Europe’s largest employers, REWE Group created around 10,000 new jobs in 2011. The commitment to economic and social responsibility is reflected in the high number of trainees. In Germany alone, 7,400 young people completed training in one of over 20 different job profiles offered by the trade and tourism group.

For the independent REWE partner retailers, 2011 was one of the most profitable in recent years – they generated an increase in turnover of 11.3 per cent. “In addition to our supermarket stores, the independent retailers are REWE’s strongest growth drivers. Day after day they demonstrate their competence in the composition of product ranges, their friendliness towards customers, their innovative power through new concepts and their socio-ecologic responsibility in implementing our sustainability strategy”, said Alain Caparros. Being independent under the REWE Group umbrella is more attractive and offers more perspectives than ever before, summarised the CEO.

REWE Combine – without taking into account at-equity entities, shareholdings and independent retailers – generated a record turnover of 40.3 billion euros (+3.4%).

EBITA, before one-off charges of REWE Combine, totalled 592.5 million euros in the 2011 financial year – after 649.5 million euros in 2010. Earnings before interest, tax and depreciation on assets and goodwill (EBITDA), including discontinued operations, amounted to 1.2 billion euros in 2011 after 1.3 billion euros in 2010.

The solid development of cash flow from operating activities demonstrates that REWE Combine generates constantly high cash equivalent surplus from its operations. In 2011, cash flow from operating activities amounted to 925 million euros, and was thereby roughly on par with the previous year.

Compared to last year, investments increased by 33 million to 1.2 billion euros. At the same time, the REWE Group was able to significantly reduce its liabilities. In 2011, repayment of debts totalled 1.3 billion euros. To this end, the net financial liabilities of REWE Combine were reduced since 2008 by almost two billion euros from 2.52 billion euros to 661 million euros in 2011.

With 4.7 billion euros, the equity of REWE Combine reached a new record level in the previous financial year. The equity ratio increased by 28 per cent to 31 per cent.

“For us, 2011 was the year of consistent debt reduction and risk prevention. We are well prepared to face all future challenges and opportunities that Germany and Europe have to offer”, said Caparros. “Our aim is to systematically benefit from growth opportunities through acquisition when it complies with our strategy and portfolio.”

Business segment: Discount Stores
The around 3,700 PENNY stores in Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, Austria, Romania, Hungary and Czech Republic increased their turnover by 3.6 per cent to 10.3 billion euros. The stores in Germany and abroad contributed to this positive development. In Germany, PENNY generated an increase in turnover by 1.9 per cent from 6.5 billion euros to 6.7 billion euros. The reasons for this are the strategic changes towards reorientation initiated in mid-2011. PENNY recorded a strong dynamic development in the six foreign markets with a turnover of 3.7 billion euros. This equates to an increase by 6.8 per cent. With a turnover in excess of 1.1 billion euros (+6.6%), the Czech Republic remains the largest foreign market.

Business segment: National Full-Range Stores
With an increase in turnover of 6.9 per cent, the National-Full Range business segment (REWE, toom consumer-market) developed significantly better for the second consecutive time than the food retail sector in Germany, which recorded an increase of only 2.4 per cent in 2011. With 15.2 billion euros (2010: 14.2 billion euros) the business segment once again achieved record turnover. REWE supermarkets significantly contributed to this development with an increase in turnover of 9.7 per cent to 13.2 billion euros. Thus, the National Full-Range segment is REWE Group’s business unit with the highest turnover. Key success factors are strong innovative power, a consistent customer-oriented format portfolio and continuous improvement in costs and processes.

Business segment: International Full-Range Stores
The International Full-range Segment (BILLA, MERKUR, BIPA) includes the REWE Group’s activities in Austria, Italy and Central and Eastern Europe. Compared to the previous year, an 4 increase in turnover of 2.5 per cent to 8.9 billion euros was generated. In Austria, the full-range segment grew significantly stronger than the total market and continued to expand its market leadership. The business unit generated turnover totalling 4.9 billion euros. This is equivalent to a growth factor of 4.6 per cent. Turnover in Central and Eastern Europe increased by 3.2 per cent to 2.4 billion euros in total. Russia continues to be the highest-growth foreign market. Turnover increased there by 14.6 per cent to 436 million euros.

Business segment: National Specialist Stores
The specialist stores of the REWE Group (toom DIY store, B1 Discount DIY store and ProMarkt) developed analogously to the respective industry trend. Overall, with 2.5 billion euros (+0.3%) the turnovers were slightly above the previous year’s level. Whereas ProMarkt was unable to break free of the negative trend in consumer electronics with a minus of 3.8 per cent to 590 million euros, the DIY stores increased their turnovers by 1.7 per cent to 1.9 billion euros. At toom DIY stores, the various measures in line with a reorientation to the classic DIY business and extended business hours on Fridays contributed to this positive increase in turnover.

Business segment: Travel and Tourism
The Travel and Tourism segment of the REWE Group continued to expand its market position in 2011. Despite a decline in bookings for the target markets Egypt and Tunisia, Germany’s second-largest tourism company increased its invoiced turnover by 5.1 per cent to 4.6 billion euros. In 2011, more than six million holidaymakers travelled with one of the three package tour operators ITS, Jahn Reisen and Tjaereborg, or with the individual and long-haul travel operators Dertour, Meier’s Weltreisen and ADAC Reisen.

In the first quarter, REWE Combine successfully started the 2012 financial year. “In the 2012 Q1, REWE Combine achieved a strong increase in turnover of 5.1 per cent in total. In Germany, the turnover of the Combine rose by 4.9 per cent. On a like-for-like basis, the REWE supermarkets generated a plus in turnover of 7.1 per cent from January to March. Abroad, REWE Combine achieved an increase in turnover by 5.4 per cent in Q1. In the second core business – Travel and Tourism – turnover rose by 3 per cent in the first three months of the new financial year”, said Caparros. “The focus of our course of growth will continue to be on organic expansion and continuous modernisation of our sales networks in Germany and abroad. In 2012, we will once again increase our investments in comparison to the previous year, i.e. from 1.2 to 1.4 billion euros. By increasing our investments, we are seeking to emphasise the fact that we have the strength to achieve a turnaround, such as PENNY in Germany, and at the same time, to dynamically and 5 successfully drive forward the development of our growth segments”, said the CEO of the REWE Group.

Press inquiries: REWE Group Corporate Communications: Email:; phone: +49 (0) 221-149-1050


REWE GROUP-Corporate Communications
Tel.: 0221 – 149-1050
E-Mail: presse(at)
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