The food distribution group Mercadona plans to arrive in the city of Lisbon next year, announced this Tuesday Juan Roig, founder, majority shareholder and president of the company born in Valencia. The supermarket chain will arrive this year in the Lisbon district, indicated Juan Roig, who added: “We will arrive in Lisbon in 2023”.
When the company began its expansion in Portugal, the company chose to start in the North and not in the capital – a strategy that is not always followed by foreign groups, who point to Lisbon in the hope of to reach more customers early on – having over the past three years advanced to the Centre. The opening in Setúbal is already confirmed for this year and the group is already hiring for Oeiras. The chain’s first store in Portugal appeared in Canidelo, Vila Nova de Gaia, in July 2019 – the year it grossed €32m in Portugal.
In 2021, the group almost tripled the sales made a year earlier in Portugal. If with 20 stores in 2020 the group had sold 186 million euros, a year later, with 29 stores, the accounts closed at 415 million euros, according to data revealed today. And also with annual losses of 64 million, recognized Roig during the press conference held this Tuesday in Valencia, questioned by Portuguese journalists, stressing however: “but it is in our forecasts”.
“We still haven’t made any money in Portugal, but we will,” said the group’s president with conviction, referring to the net result of the operation, not without explaining beforehand that for sales of 415 million in this market, purchases from national suppliers were 500 million in 2021. In 2020, purchases from Portuguese suppliers amounted to 369 million euros – “we discover that there are very good suppliers in Portugal to also supply the network in Spain.
“We are still nobody in Portugal – we have a 3% share [do mercado]Roig scoffed. In 2022, the group will invest 150 million euros, planning to open 10 additional stores in Portugal – thus maintaining the annual target for openings in the country – and developing a new logistics center (in Almeirim). In 2021, the investment was 110 million euros, with the opening of nine stores. Taxes and social security contributions paid by the group amount to 2017 million euros, of which a share of 62 million to the Portuguese State, paid through the local company Irmãdona Supermercados, based in Vila Nova de Gaya.
Overall, the group sold 27.819 million euros in 2021 (including 510 million via Mercadona online), 3.3% more than in 2020 and obtained a net profit after tax of 680 million (down 6 % compared to 2020). Last year, the company’s total investment amounted to 1,200 million euros, of which 920 million in 79 openings, 58 closings and 84 network restructurings, totaling 1,662 supermarkets in the Iberian territory. It employs 96,000 people, including 2,500 in Portugal.