Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed colleagues
It’s a little over a year since a war in Europe first shook us to the core. The impact of that war shaped financial year 2022 – and is still affecting us today.
The ruthless exposure our dependencies, the energy crisis, the ensuing inflation and challenges in procuring everyday products have brought about a great many changes.
We have faced up to these challenges and committed ourselves to finding the best solutions in order to reliably provide people in Germany and Europe with affordable food.
This has been our remit for almost 100 years and we take it very seriously – particularly in times of crisis.
In 2022, we invested a triple-digit million euro figure in cushioning sales prices for our customers, and in so doing, consciously sacrificed earnings. That’s because we refuse to leave our customers in the lurch during this period of high inflation. We are able to do this because as a cooperative, we focus on sustainable business practices and long-term growth.
Nevertheless, we managed to navigate 2022 successfully and steadily with our consistent approach and our broad and stable international structure. Tourism revived very well following the coronavirus pandemic, and we also saw healthy performance in international business. This enabled us to achieve stable results – not least thanks to the incredible commitment of our more than 380,000 employees in Germany and Europe.
We invest almost all of our earnings in the Company – making us strong from within. We have demonstrated this day in, day out, for years, for the benefit of our customers, our retailers and our staff.
We will continue in this vein. The bulk of our investment goes to modernisation, digitalisation and sustainability, with full focus on the requirements of our future customers.
I have no doubt that we will all continue to face social, economic and political challenges – and we will meet them together.