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Mercator group expects EUR 2.3 billion in revenue in 2020

Ljubljana, 11 December (STA) - The group around the Slovenian retailer Mercator plans to generate EUR 2.3 billion in revenue in 2020 and EUR 110 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), figures higher than those expected to be posted this year, shows a press release issued on Wednesday.

According to the release accompanying the 2020 business plan, the Mercator group is expected to generate EUR 2.1 billion in revenue and 91 million in EBITDA this year.

The Mercator group plans to continue to pursue its development strategy in 2020, with the key goals being revenue growth and business performance "as the best local retailer in all its markets," it adds.

The group's investments in 2020 are budgeted at EUR 44 million, of which 57% will be allocated to projects in Slovenia. Mercator plans to open 28 new shops next year and refurbish 65 shops in all its markets.

"Next year, Mercator will strengthen its cooperation with local and regional suppliers, and continue to develop new commercial platforms and new and innovative store concepts."

The group also is planning further deleveraging. While the net debt to EBITDA ratio in 2016 was at 14.1, the plan is to slash this ratio to 4.5 by the end of 2020.

The release notes that the group owns nearly EUR 1.2 billion worth of real estate, and that it would continue constructing a new logistics and distribution centre in Ljubljana.

According to current plans, "the largest investment in Mercator's history" will be completed by the end of 2021.

In the first nine months of the year, the Mercator group generated EUR 1.64 billion in sales revenue, up 1.6% year-on-year. EBITDA amounted to EUR 80.3 million (-0.5%), while net profit reached EUR 6.2 million.

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