19 April 2021

REWE Group turnover tops 75 billion euros for the first time

Lekkerland acquisition fuels strong growth
Reading time: 6 min.
  • Independent REWE merchants record very strong sales

  • Higher tax burden leads to decline in consolidated earnings and substantial losses in travel and tourism

  • Increase in investments

Cologne. Thanks to the successful integration of the Lekkerland Group, the REWE Group’s total external turnover reached a record level of 75.3 billion euros in the 2020 business year. After exchange rate adjustment, this represents an increase of 20.4 percent relative to the previous year (62.7 billion euros). REWE Group turnover – not including independent retailers and at-equity entities – rose by 23.9 percent, from 55.3 billion to 68.2 billion euros, after adjusting for exchange rates.

The year 2020 was, of course, overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic at the REWE Group as well. We were ultimately able to achieve our economic goals, thanks to positive trends in our commercial business that offset significant stresses in the tourism division, explained Lionel Souque, CEO of the Cologne-based trade and tourism group, speaking at the publication of the company’s as-yet uncertified financial figures. I would particularly like to thank our company’s more than 380,000 employees in Germany and abroad, as well as our merchants, for their outstanding performance and extraordinary commitment under the challenging conditions posed by the COVID-19 crisis. Our company has become even more united and that makes me particularly proud. With the successful integration of the Lekkerland Group, REWE has acquired a new and very promising business segment. With the Lekkerland Group, we now have excellent prospects in the growing convenience store sector in Germany and Europe. Souque also noted that the REWE Group is planning additional investments to modernise its markets, expand its logistics infrastructure and continue on its course towards greater digitalisation: Our investments amounted to approximately 1.9 billion euros in 2020, and we intend to increase that figure to 2.3 billion euros in the current business year. We are also planning similar investments for 2022 and 2023.

Under the umbrella of the cooperative Group, the independent food retail sector again showed very strong growth. REWE merchants in Germany generated 20.5 percent more turnover than the previous year.

The number of employees in Germany and other European countries rose by roughly 22,000, to approximately 384,000, comprising 282,000 in Germany and 102,000 in other countries. This is an increase of 6 percent. The number of trainees in the REWE Group in Germany (as of 30 September 2020) increased by 388 (+4.1 percent) to 9,762, with 4,409 beginning their training in 2020.

REWE Group: Increased sales, lower consolidated earnings

After adjusting for exchange rates, REWE Group revenue from continuing operations rose by 23.9 percent, from 55.3 billion to 68.2 billion euros. Turnover in Germany increased by 24.4 percent, to 46.6 billion euros; after exchange rate adjustment, whilst turnover in other countries increased by 22.7 percent, to 21.6 billion euros.

Operating EBITA grew from 910 million euros in 2019 to 1.22 billion euros.

Consolidated EAT dropped from 507 million to 415 million euros. This decline is due to a significantly higher tax burden, owing to non-offsettable losses of the DER Touristik Group, among other factors.

The REWE Group’s EBITDA increased from 4.1 billion euros in the previous year to 4.4 billion euros.

Investments in tangible and intangible assets totalled 1.9 billion euros, approximately 140 million euros more than in 2019.

Equity capital grew from 7.3 billion to 7.6 billion euros. Net financial debt, not including financial leasing, totalled 1.7 billion euros as of 31 December 2020.

Sales performance in REWE Group business segments and divisions

In the Retail in Germany business segment, which includes the retail sales of REWE stores and the wholesale sales of merchants and other partners, turnover increased by 12.3 percent, from 23.6 billion euros to 26.5 billion euros.

In the Retail International business segment, the REWE Group divested itself of its markets in Ukraine in 2020. It now has supermarkets and drugstores in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Lithuania. Turnover rose by 2.4 percent (3.6 percent after exchange rate adjustment) from 10.1 billion to 10.4 billion euros.
The full-range store sector in Austria, with BILLA, BIPA, MERKUR and ADEG, saw turnover increase by 4.3 percent to 6.8 billion euros.

In the Discount National segment, PENNY Germany boosted its turnover by 5.4 percent, reaching a record level of 8 billion euros in external sales.

In Discount International, PENNY recorded even more dynamic growth. In Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic, PENNY’s overall turnover increased by 8.3 percent (by 11 percent after exchange rate adjustment), from 5.1 billion to 5.5 billion euros.

In the new Convenience business segment, with the Lekkerland Group’s national and international activities in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain, total external turnover reached 13.1 billion euros. For the first time, this figure also includes the REWE To Go segment.

In the DIY Stores business segment, which includes toom Baumarkt, turnover rose from 2.2 billion to 2.7 billion euros, an increase of 19.9 percent.

Consolidated revenue in the Travel and Tourism business segment suffered a serious decline – by 5 billion euros, or 73.9 percent, to 1.3 billion euros.

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 at
REWE Group