Supermarket group Colruyt reported revenue for the first half of the 2016/17 financial year had grown by 2.4% to €4,655.7 million compared to €4,546.7 million in the same period of the previous year.
Operating profit, EBITDA, margin was stable at 8.0% of revenue or €370.9 million and net profit was up 5.5% at €192.5 million, or €1.30 per share compared to €1.24 per share in H1 2015/16.
Colruyt said Belgium market share had expanded by 19 basis points to 31.8% in the first semester but strong competition and a persistently difficult economic climate continued to characterise the Belgian and French retail market.
Long term investments in stores, logistics infrastructure, employees and transformation programmes resulted in higher depreciation charges and raised employee costs.
After investments in tangible and intangible assets of €191 million for the six months, cash stood at €475 million at period end.
For the full financial year 2016/17 Colruyt expects market conditions to remain the same but confirmed its outlook for the consolidated net result to match or slightly exceed last year's result.