Report by the
Management Board

Successful business year 2018:
REWE Group generated revenue of 61.2 billion euros. REWE Combine increased revenue by 8.1 per cent to 53.4 billion euros.

For the first time in the history of the company, REWE Group achieved total external revenue of more than 60 billion euros: in 2018, revenue increased by 4.7 per cent to 61.2 billion euros. Business both within and outside Germany of the Cologne-based cooperative trade and tourism company contributed to this strong revenue increase. In Germany, revenue grew by 4.5 per cent and outside Germany by 5.2 per cent. The non-German share of total external revenue of REWE Group thus increased slightly by 0.2 percentage points to 28.7 per cent.

REWE Group

REWE Group is on a healthy growth path, both nationally and internationally. In 2018, we profited once again from our major investments made in previous years in Germany and other European countries in the modernisation and expansion of our stores and in strengthening our Travel and Tourism division. The 2018 business year was one of the best in the history of our company – despite ongoing charges relating to modernisation of sky stores. The strength in our core business gives us the opportunity to drive forward new business models and innovations that will be the foundation for our company’s continued positive development in the future. As a cooperative group, we pursue our strategic priorities calmly and with commercial foresight, even when the market and competitive environment is sometimes characterised by turbulence.

Once again, the independent food retail business, under the umbrella of REWE Group, was a driver of the positive overall development. REWE retailers in Germany again managed to accelerate their revenue growth compared to the previous year. Following growth of 8.5 per cent in 2017, our retailers contributed to the successful development of REWE Group in 2018 with a revenue increase of 9.1 per cent. The strengths of REWE retailers clearly lie in being local enterprises with roots in their respective towns and communities, high customer proximity, regional and local product ranges, as well as individual service. Promotion of independent retail remains a high priority for us. The continuous expansion of the sales network of independent retailers is a key factor here. In 2018, the number of stores of REWE retailers in Germany increased by 5.1 per cent from 1,635 to 1,718.

In addition, revenue from online business under the umbrella of REWE Group continued to grow significantly by 22.4 per cent overall.

Number of employees increases by 2.4 per cent

The number of employees in Germany and other European countries rose by 2.4 per cent to 360,315. In Germany, the number of employees increased by 2.1 per cent from 254,097 to 259,496 in 2018, including 8,560 trainees (as of 30 September). The number of employees outside Germany increased by 3.2 per cent to 100,819.


REWE Combine

Revenue of REWE Combine rose last year by 8 per cent from 49.4 billion to 53.4 billion euros; adjusted for currency effects, growth was 8.1 per cent. In Germany, REWE Combine grew by 8.3 per cent and outside Germany by 7.3 per cent (adjusted for currency effects: +7.6 per cent).

The operating result (EBITA) increased by 23.8 per cent from 491 million euros to 609 million euros. The EBITA of REWE Combine does not include the operating result of REWE retailers, which amounted to around 320 million euros and thus exceeded the previous year’s result of 290 million euros. The net income for the year of REWE Combine increased by 27.2 per cent to 430 million euros.

The EBITDA of REWE Combine increased by 15.6 per cent from 1.6 billion euros to 1.8 billion euros, as compared to the previous year’s figure.

Cash-effective investments made in 2018 in property and intangible assets totalled around 1.8 billion euros, on par with the high level of the previous year.

Equity grew by 5.9 per cent in 2018, thus reaching a new high of 6.5 billion euros. The equity ratio amounted to 31.4 per cent. As of 31 December 2018, net financial debt, not including finance leases, totalled 1.2 billion euros.

REWE Combine has an exceptionally strong balance sheet. We have the strength to continue investing at a high level in the future and plan to invest around two billion euros in the current business year. This is essential if we are to continue to grow dynamically and profitably in retail and tourism – nationally and internationally.

Retail Germany

The business segment Retail Germany generated revenue of 31.4 billion euros. This segment comprises the divisions REWE, PENNY Germany and Retail Germany central businesses. In addition, the company’s domestic real estate business, production and sales operation of baked goods sold under the name Glocken Bäckerei and production of meat and sausage products sold under the brand name Wilhelm Brandenburg are assigned to Retail Germany.

National Full-Range Stores, with REWE, REWE CENTER, REWE To Go, as well as nahkauf and other wholesale partners, achieved a revenue increase of 12.3 per cent to 23.8 billion euros in 2018. This includes the joint venture with REWE Dortmund.

Significant momentum was generated for the supermarket business particularly by the roll-out of the REWE 2020 store concept, the central elements of which include freshness, regionality, healthy diets, variety, innovation and expert assistance. Overall, 180 stores had been adapted to the REWE 2020 concept by 31 December 2018.

Rapid progress has been made in the conversion of 152 sky stores to the REWE sales concept. Full transition from sky to REWE will be completed by mid-2019.

PENNY Germany increased revenue by 3.1 per cent to 7.6 billion euros. For the third year in a row, the number of PENNY branches in Germany also increased, reaching 2,182 as of 31 December 2018. The drivers of this positive development were consistent positioning of PENNY as a local discounter, expansion of the organic and convenience ranges, as well as introduction of PAYBACK.


Sales Brands Retail Germany

REWE Group-Logo
REWE Group-Headquater, Cologne
REWE store
PENNY store
PENNY store
nahkauf store
PENNY store in Austria
Logo PENNY Market
PENNY Market employee
BILLA store
ADEG Austria
MERKUR consumer store
BIPA drug store

Retail International

The business segments International Full-Range Stores and International Discount Stores are combined in the business segment Retail International. The business segment Retail International generated revenue of 14.2 billion euros. This corresponds to a revenue increase of 6.7 per cent (adjusted for currency effects: +7.1 per cent).

International Full-Range Stores combines supermarket and drug store activities in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania and Ukraine. Revenue increased by 6.2 per cent (adjusted for currency effects: +6.8 per cent) from 8.9 to 9.4 billion euros.

Revenue in Austrian full-range stores with BILLA, BIPA, MERKUR and ADEG rose by 1.7 per cent to 6.4 billion euros. BILLA supermarkets grew by 1.5 per cent; BIPA drug stores in Austria increased revenue by 1.1 per cent.

In Central and Eastern Europe, BILLA achieved a revenue increase of 17 per cent (adjusted for currency effects: +19.1 per cent) to over three billion euros. This includes the business (fully consolidated for the first time) of Lithuanian supermarket chain IKI, in which REWE Combine acquired a majority interest on 1 August 2018. In the Czech Republic, BILLA achieved revenue of over one billion euros (1.1 billion euros) for the first time thanks to a revenue increase of 12 per cent.

In Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic, PENNY International achieved revenue growth of 7.5 per cent with 4.8 billion euros. The number of stores rose by 2.7 per cent to 1,505. The country to experience strongest growth was Romania, where revenue of PENNY increased by 14.6 per cent, adjusted for currency effects. In Austria, revenue of PENNY increased by 2.5 per cent.


Sales Brands Retail International

DIY Stores

The DIY Stores business segment encompasses the DIY store activities of toom Baumarkt and B1 Discount Baumarkt. In 2018, revenue in this segment grew by 1.0 per cent to 2.2 billion euros. The toom Baumarkt DIY stores alone grew by 2.3 per cent, above the industry growth rate of 1.6 per cent.

Sales Brands DIY Stores

DER-Logo App
toom DIY store
KUONI travel agency
EXIM travel agency in the Czech Republic

Travel and Tourism

DER Touristik, the second pillar of REWE Group next to the retail business, continued to develop positively with a 3.4 per cent increase in invoiced revenue to 6.7 billion euros. This development was supported by the internationalisation of DER Touristik. Exim Tours, for example, achieved revenue growth of 30.7 per cent in Eastern Europe. With revenue growth of around 20 per cent, the Destination Management Companies, which are responsible for guest services, excursions and hotel procurement, also proved to be particularly successful. The travel agencies of DER Touristik increased invoiced revenue by 6 per cent in the 2018 business year.

Sales Brands Travel and Tourism