The Estonian branch of German discount supermarket chain Lidl has reported losses of €8.7 million for 2019. Over the same period, the company invested €29.4 million in long-term assets, it reports, continuing a trend for buying up real estate planned for future stores that started in late 2016.
Lidl Eesti OÜ reportedly plans to make up for the 2019 losses with future profits.
2019 followed a similar pattern to the previous year, when Lidl invested €21.5 million in Estonia and made losses of €3.4 million for that year.
Lidl Eesti OÜ was registered in October 2016 and started its operations – so far the acquisition of real estate for future stores – soon after that.
Lidl says that the COVID-19 crisis has not had a significant effect on business given it is still in development stages to a full market entry. The company says it will not make any big changes in strategy as things stand.
While no Lidl stores are open in Estonia yet, the company has been placing job ads for stores in Estonia's major towns, including for management and back office roles.
Lidl acquired four properties in 2019, getting the same number of permits and has started construction on its first store.
Parent company CE-Beteiligungs-GmbH has increased the Lidl Eesti's share capital in 2019 by €18 million to mitigate the losses, after doing the same to the tune of €14 million in 2018.
- 2019 operating income was €374,000 (2018: €82,300).
- 2019 operating expenses were €6.9 million (2018: €2.7 million).
- Employed an average of 52 people through 2019 (2018: 18).
- Wage costs totaled €1.5 million in 2019 (2018: €494,000).
- Management board of five people, whose remuneration in 2019 stood at €102,400 including bonuses.
Lidl says it will continue real estate acquisition, development and store construction in the 2020 financial year.
Editor: Andrew Whyte