International retailer Spar Group has announced that it is seeking to sell the Polish arm of its business just four years after taking over the network of failed Polish supermarket chain Piotr i Paweł. The firm never recorded an annual profit during that time.
“Having evaluated and considered all options, the board believes that it is in the best interests of the group and shareholders to engage in a process to dispose of its interests in Poland,” announced the firm in a trading update published today. “Additional information will be provided as the process progresses.”
Spar Group, spółka z RPA, która kilka lat temu za 1 euro przejęła sieć supermarketów Piotr i Paweł, ogłosiła, że chce sprzedać biznes w naszym kraju. https://t.co/agkcMI1kAg
— Business Insider Polska 🇵🇱 (@BIPolska) September 28, 2023
Spar acquired an 80% stake in Piotr i Paweł for a symbolic amount of one euro in 2019. Despite growing revenue, the company failed to make a profit. In its last full financial year, which ended on 30 September 2022, it recorded an operating loss of 92.7 million zloty (€20 million) in Poland.
In a message sent by the company to broadcaster TVN24, Spar stressed that it will support its Polish business until it finds an “suitable and reliable” investor.
“Maintaining a positive attitude towards the opportunities and prospects for retail development in the dynamic and growing market in Poland, the Spar management team and employees will continue to work on both the growth and development of the Spar business in Poland,” said the company.
In 2020, another global supermarket giant, Tesco, announced its departure from the Polish market. The following year, French chain Carrefour announced that it was exploring a sale of its Polish operations, but has subsequently remained in the country.
Whereas Tesco once shaped retail trends in Poland, it has now fallen victim to them.@mariawilczek looks at why the supermarket giant is withdrawing from what was one of its most promising markets, with the second most stores outside the UK https://t.co/DbdQzFYZHi
— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) March 12, 2020
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Main image credit: WrS.tm.pl/Wikimedia Commons (under public domain)
Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.