9 April 2024

REWE Group 2023: Remaining firmly on course for success in a persistently challenging marketplace 

Investment offensive continues with one of the highest volumes in the European retail industry
Reading time: 10 min.
  • Total revenue rose by 8.9 per cent to 92.3 billion euros 

  • Operating result (EBITA) increased to more than 1.8 billion euros 

  • Investments climbed by 6 per cent to 3 billion euros 

  • Retail Germany up by 7.8 per cent, Retail International with revenue growth of 11.1 per cent  

  • Travel and tourism continues its strong comeback following the pandemic with significant revenue growth of 24.6 per cent in 2023 

Cologne. Bolstered by its broad international positioning in retail, travel and tourism, convenience, the REWE Group produced another stable and successful business year in 2023. Total revenue clearly exceeded the mark of 92 billion euros – due in part to inflation. EBITA rebounded from the decline it experienced in 2022. The annual profit for the year totalled 736,2 million euros. The company’s workforce increased by 1.3 per cent to 389,270 employees. The company pressed ahead with its investment offensive, pouring 3 billion euros into its infrastructure, modernisation, digitalisation, innovation and sustainability – in short, into the customer wishes of tomorrow. 

 Like business years before it, 2023 was defined by a challenging geopolitical and economic environment: the impact of the war in Ukraine and the conflict in the Middle East, extreme weather conditions and natural disasters, unstable supply chains, price increases in all areas – logistics, transport and packaging in particular – were price drivers along with high inflation and the financial uncertainty that it caused among consumers. Would we like for business conditions to be less challenging? Certainly. But wishing is not a productive management practice and standing on the sidelines when things get tough is not our style, says Lionel Souque, CEO of REWE Group. We are doing what our cooperative DNA tells us to do: Get to work. Make a difference. To safeguard the future. The REWE Group performed well in 2023. The company initiated and successfully took key steps to strengthen its future competitiveness and generate continued long-range, healthy growth. 

Affordable prices for all customers remained a top priority in 2023

Not only German consumers remained extremely worried about the rising cost of living in 2023. Many had to – or wanted to – save money on food. Affordable prices for all our customers were – and remain – a top priority, Souque said. We also invested in our prices for 2023. Some of the negotiations with major international suppliers were very tough. During some of them, our aim was not to completely lose sight of what our mutual customers could and wanted to afford. The CEO added that the company could not understand why key cost components were falling again, while prices failed to reflect these declines. Since the peak at Easter 2023, inflation on our shelves has fallen continuously. Currently, there is no longer any inflation in our product ranges – across all our stores – and prices are even falling on a weighted basis. 

Increased focus on special deals, private labels and entry-level products

The high level of price sensitivity among all consumer groups had a noticeable impact on shopping behaviour in 2023: Consumers increasingly turned to special deals, private labels and entry-level products. We have set the right priorities and accents at REWE and PENNY. Customers have noticed and expressed their appreciation, the CEO of the REWE Group said. The supermarket and discount segments are performing very well. But there is an inflation factor involved in it. Independent REWE retailers, a group that now comprises 2,090 stores (increase of 2.5 per cent compared with 2022), also scored points with their special form of customer centricity and orientation. They generated a pleasing increase in revenue of around 9 percent to 17.4 billion euros in the process: They are and will remain a critically important factor in our success, Lionel Souque said. 

Travel and tourism back on track for success with strong performance

The summer of 2023 was characterised by a great desire to travel across all source markets: On the one hand, the pent-up demand for travel after the pandemic continues. On the other hand, many people have decided to treat themselves to a holiday and prefer to save money elsewhere if necessary. Our tourism division was excellently positioned for the sharp rise in interest in package holidays and the Europe-wide trend towards higher-quality holidays, Souque said in describing the pleasing revenue performance, which even exceeded the 2019 level in some cases. In addition to expanding the speciality travel segment, the DERTOUR Group continued to develop its strategic growth area of hotel business in 2023 by opening additional hotels and investing in property. 

Bolstering competitiveness, systematically developing business segments

In 2023, ownership was also one of the focal points of the company’s work to ensure long-term competitiveness: We have placed a strong focus on more owner-occupied properties, said REWE Group CFO Telerik Schischmanow. This allows us to cushion the blow caused by rising rental costs, but also gives us more freedom to carry out additional green projects, things like renewable energies and electric charging stations. The share of properties owned by the company increased further, making REWE Group one of the largest real-estate buyers and property developers in European food retailing last year. 

 The cooperative REWE Group systematically continued its investment offensive in infrastructure, modernisation, digitalisation, innovation and sustainability in all of its markets during the past business year: In 2023, investments totalled 3 billion euros, one of the highest volumes in European retail. The funds were invested in the continued successful development of the business segments and the company’s future competitiveness.  

The REWE Group 2023 in numbers

The REWE Group with a revenue plus of 8.9 per cent 

Total external revenue of the REWE Group climbed by 8.9 percent, rising from 84.8 billion euros to 92.3 billion euros. Germany generated a revenue increase of 7.8 per cent to 63.2 billion euros (2022: 58.6 billion euros). International business increased by 11.3 per cent to 29.1 billion euros. The number of employees rose by 1.3 per cent to 389,270 in the past business year. Of this total, 284,758 (increase of 1.4 per cent) were employed in Germany and 104,512 (increase of 1.1 per cent) internationally. 

Positive earnings trend 

Operating earnings EBITA rose by 25.6 per cent from 1.45 billion euros (2022) to 1.83 billion euros. The company’s combined net profit for the year increased by 46.2 per cent from 503.5 million euros to 736.2 million euros.  

 At the same time, the group further boosted its investment activities despite the crisis: Investments in property and intangible assets rose by around 200 million euros from 2.8 billion euros to 3.0 billion euros.    

The REWE Group is planning investments of 3.0 billion euros this year too. Equity climbed by 6.9 per cent from 9.4 billion euros to 10.0 billion euros.  

Revenue development in 2023 of the REWE Group business segments and divisions 

Revenue of the Retail Germany business segment (REWE stores and PENNY) rose by 7.8 per cent to 40.4 billion euros. Retail International, with Austrian full-range stores (BILLA, BIPA, ADEG), CEE full-range stores (BILLA, IKI) and PENNY International, increased sales by 11.1 per cent (adjusted for currency effects: 10.5 per cent) to 19.2 billion euros. 

National full-range stores (REWE) increased revenue by 7.7 per cent to 30.6 billion euros. This included the retail revenue of the REWE stores and wholesale revenue with retailers and other partners. International Full-Range Stores (Austrian full-range stores and CEE full-range stores) generated revenue of 11.5 billion euros, an increase of 7.5 per cent. The Austrian full-range stores (BILLA, BIPA and ADEG) contributed to this with revenue of 7.8 billion euros (increase of 6.7 per cent compared with 2022). In the CEE full-range stores (BILLA, IKI), revenue climbed by 9 per cent (adjusted for currency effects: 8.1 percent) to 3.8 billion euros. 

Revenue generated by the 1,550 REWE retailers under the umbrella of the cooperative REWE Group increased by 8.9 per cent to 17.4 billion euros.  

PENNY Deutschland increased revenue in the past business year by 8.6 per cent to 9.5 billion euros. While the number of stores remained virtually unchanged at 2,123 (2022: 2,135), the number of customers once again increased significantly, climbing by 4.8 per cent to just fewer than 600 million.: PENNY International, which operates as a typical national discounter in Italy, Austria, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary, boosted revenue by 17.1 per cent (adjusted for currency effects: 15.9 per cent) to 7.7 billion euros. Once again, PENNY achieved the strongest growth in Romania, followed by Hungary and the Czech Republic, with a currency-adjusted increase in revenue of 25.4 per cent. 

The revenue of the Convenience business segment, including the national and international business of the Lekkerland Group, rose by 6.1 per cent to 15.1 billion euros.  

Revenue generated by the DYI Stores business segment rose by 2.7 per cent to 2.5 billion compared with the previous year. 

Travel and Tourism grew by 24.6 per cent in 2023, increasing invoiced revenue to EUR 7.2 billion. 

About REWE Group

The cooperatively organized REWE Group is one of the leading trade and tourism groups in Germany and Europe. In 2023, the company generated a total external turnover of more than 92 billion euros. Founded in 1927, REWE Group operates with around 390,000 employees in 21 European countries. 

The sales lines include REWE, REWE CENTER and BILLA as well as BILLA PLUS and ADEG supermarkets and consumer stores, the discounter PENNY, IKI, the drugstores BIPA and the toom Baumarkt DIY stores. The company also operates convenience stores REWE To Go and the e-commerce activities REWE Liefer- and Abholservice as well as Zooroyal and Weinfreunde. The Lekkerland Group comprises the wholesale activities of the business group in the area of on-the-go consumption. Under the umbrella of DERTOUR Group, the Travel and Tourism division includes more than 2,100 travel agencies, tour operators as well as hotel brands and online travel portals. 

Ines Schurin
Group Director Corporate Communications and Company Spokesperson

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