HELSINKI, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Finland's largest discount store chain Tokmanni Group posted robust sales and earnings in the second quarter (Q2) this year, despite the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, the group announced in its half-year financial report published on Wednesday.
Tokmanni's revenue between April and June totaled 286.0 million euros, up 19.2 percent compared with the 239.9 million euros in the same period of 2019.
Earnings before interest and tax were 30.6 million euros in Q2 this year, compared with 18.2 million euros one year earlier, a 68.2 percent increase year on year.
The product categories offered by Tokmanni are well suited to a situation in which Finns are spending more time at home and at their cottages, or choosing domestic tourism during the COVID-19 epidemic. This is why the growth in sales of leisure, gardening, home improvement products and food products were particularly strong in the second quarter, explained Mika Rautiainen, CEO of Tokmanni, in the financial report.
"Tokmanni has benefitted from the fact that customers have not been travelling abroad," Rautiainen added.
When the COVID-19 crisis and the exceptional restrictions were imposed in March, customer visits at Tokmanni stores dropped sharply. "We took immediate action to address the uncertainty in early April by further adjusting the pricing of our products. We also took steps to ensure the safety of our personnel and stores, so that customer service and shopping at Tokmanni stores would be as risk-free as possible," said Rautiainen.
Tokmanni forecasts a strong growth in sales and like-for-like sales in 2020, and group profitability is expected to improve over the previous year. However, the outlook for the latter half of 2020 is based on the assumption that there will be no significant disturbances in the market environment of Tokmanni's business, said the company.
Tokmanni has a joint sourcing company in China with the Norwegian general discount retailer Europris. The sourcing company is operating normally despite signs of uncertainty over a second wave of the pandemic. Christmas is the most important season for Tokmanni and imports from China play a key role in the sales of the holiday season, emphasized Rautiainen, adding that the Christmas products are in production, and some of the products are already being shipped to Finland.
"The reliability of the operations of the logistics centre and supply chain is critical for Tokmanni," Rautiainen noted.
Headquartered in Mantsala, southern Finland, Tokmanni is the largest and only nationwide general discount retailer in Finland. At the end of 2019 it had almost 200 stores around the country. Enditem