Performance

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4. Performance Indicators

Financial Performance Indicators

The most significant performance indicators of the REWE Group's operating units are revenue and EBITA. Net debt is included at the Group level. These key figures are reported under notes 2 and 3.

The cash flow statement shows changes in cash and cash equivalents less overdraft facilities during the financial year. A distinction is drawn between changes resulting from operating activities, investing activities and financing activities.

Change in cash and cash equivalents
in million €20172016
Cash funds at the beginning of the year575.8606.5
 Cash flows from operating activities, continuing operations1,300.21,735.4
 Cash flows from investing activities, continuing operations -1,903.5-1,510.7
 Cash flows from financing activities, continuing operations  619.7-399.0
 Cash flows from continuing operations 16.4-114.3
 Cash flows from discontinued operations 63.585.5
 Currency translation differences-4.1-1.9
Cash funds at the end of the year651.6575.8
Cash funds at the end of the year, discontinued operations0.02.0
Cash funds at the end of the year, continuing operations 651.6573.8
 of which: cash and cash equivalents 653.4615.8
 of which: bank overdrafts-1.8-42.0

For additional explanations, please see note 38 "Cash Flow Statement" in the notes to the Combined Financial Statements.

Non-financial Performance Indicators

Employees

On an annual average, the REWE Group had 224,931 employees in 2017 (previous year: 213,761), of which 6,317 (previous year: 5,844) were trainees.

The increase in the employee headcount was due primarily to the first-time inclusion of the Supermärkte Nord companies acquired in 2016 and the first-time full consolidation of REWE Dortmund SE & Co. KG as at 1 September 2017 (see section 4 "Acquisitions").

As an international trading and tourism group we rely on qualified employees. So that we continue to be considered an attractive employer in the competition for qualified employees, the REWE Group makes targeted investments in its current and future employees. The following action areas play a central role:

Values and culture

The REWE Group wants long-term commitments from its employees and offers them a motivating work environment. This includes fair work conditions, attractive social benefits and offers that are adapted to the different phases of the employee's life. Fair work environments are based on valuing diversity and a commitment to equal opportunity – these are core values for the REWE Group's corporate culture. The appreciation of employees through appropriate compensation with attractive additional benefits (such as our employee discount) is also a material component of a fair work environment.

Training and professional development

In order to promote the potential and individual development of employees in the best manner possible, the REWE Group continuously expands its personnel development measures and offers all its employees and executives an extensive offering of internal training and continuing education. As part of this effort, the Company endeavours to recruit as many as possible specialists and managers from its own ranks and to retain qualified and motivated employees long-term. We also take advantage of the opportunities presented by digitalisation with online training materials for our employees at central locations and in stores as well as data-based participant management.

Health and safety

Occupational health management is an important element of the REWE Group's internal social policy. This helps to strengthen employees' responsibility for their own health. At the same time, we are making efforts to continuously improve working conditions. Following the principle "demand and promote", we offer various initiatives and health-promotion programmes to our employees.

Be it ergonomic work stations or accident prevention, the safety and health of our employees has the highest priority for us. We assist the responsible managers in preparing their risk assessments and provide them with advice on setting up work stations. In addition, we place great value on the prevention of violence (particularly offering training on how to react in the event of a robbery) as well as reducing musculoskeletal strain and optimising employees' workplace habits (e.g., when lifting, carrying, pushing, sitting). Moreover, we work closely with the occupational health service to address the topic of psychological health.

Work-life balance

Be it adult care for family members or childcare: we help our employees to balance their careers and families by offering family-oriented services which fit with each stage of life.

A family-friendly HR policy is important to the REWE Group in order to gain and retain employees. That is why we offer on-site kindergartens at headquarters or child and adult care services in cooperation with awo lifebalance GmbH in the regions, for example. A good work-life balance is becoming a decisive factor for many people when selecting an employer. That is why many divisions of the REWE Group have been certified by undergoing the "career and family" audit by berufundfamilie Service GmbH. Numerous models are used in the REWE Group that allow employees to organise their work individually and flexibly.

Whether employees themselves are suffering from severe illness, if they have lost a loved one, if they have a family member requiring care or are facing other private issues, personal problems can cause considerable stress and have a significant impact on an employee's working life. The REWE Group has launched the "LoS!" pilot project to offer employees quick and practical assistance in critical life situations, thus ensuring that they are able to continue working.

Sustainability

Sustainability at the REWE Group is firmly anchored in both the Company's strategy and the corporate organisation. The Chairman of the Management Board is responsible for setting the sustainability strategy of the entire REWE Group. The change in leadership as at 1 July 2017 meant the transfer of this responsibility from Alain Caparros to his successor, Lionel Souque.

Four strategic pillars – "Green Products", "Energy, Climate and the Environment", "Employees" and "Social Involvement" – were introduced in 2008 to implement the sustainability strategy. Within these pillars, the Company has identified action areas that cover all of the issues relevant to the REWE Group.

In 2016, a strategic process was implemented by the food retail segment in Germany and at DER Touristik to review the organisation and focus of the REWE Group's commitment to sustainability, and to adapt this where necessary. The aim was to better integrate activities into the sales lines' existing business processes in order to anchor sustainability even more firmly in the Company. As part of the strategy process at DER Touristik, the five following pillars of sustainability were redefined: "Environment and Nature", "Customers and Products", "National Partners", "Employees" and "Society". The four pillars of sustainability for the food retail sector in Germany were confirmed and the action areas were revised. 

a) Green Products

The goal of the "Green Products" pillar is to make more sustainable product ranges available and to offer these to consumers at the stores. The "Green Products" pillar's action areas therefore include "Expanding sustainable product ranges" and the demand for "Social standards in the supply chain". "Product quality and safety" and "Biodiversity" is also addressed.

The action areas for the German food retail sector were redefined as part of the sustainability strategy. These are now "Fairness", "Nutrition", "Work and social standards" and "Animal welfare and environmental protection".

The REWE Group consistently follows its objective of increasing the share of sustainable store brands and brand-name products by using the PRO PLANET label for store brand products which, in addition to high quality, also have positive ecological and/or social characteristics, by expanding the organic product line and through its product line of regional products as well as various raw materials-related guidelines.

b) Energy, Climate and the Environment

Three action areas have been identified in the "Energy, Climate and the Environment" pillar: "Energy Efficiency", "Atmospheric Emissions" and "Conservation of Resources".

By 2022, the REWE Group aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area by half compared to 2006 levels. The 2016 carbon footprint report shows that a reduction of 38.7 per cent has already been attained. In addition, electricity consumption per square metre of sales area will be reduced by 7.5 per cent between 2012 and 2022. The coolant-related greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of sales area will be reduced by 35 per cent between 2012 and 2022.

c) Employees

The satisfaction and performance capability of employees are a core element of the REWE Group's strategic human resources management. Accordingly, the following action areas have been identified for the Employees pillar: "Fair work conditions", "Human resources development", "Health management and occupational safety", "Life-phase oriented HR policy" and "Diversity and equal opportunity".

The action areas for German food retail sector were adapted in the 2016 sustainability strategy. The new action areas were defined as follows: "Values and culture", "Training and professional development", "Health and safety", "Work-life balance" and "Diversity and equal opportunity". 

Various initiatives have been implemented in all action areas in order to increase employee satisfaction and dedication. Examples include promoting employees across all levels of the Group's hierarchy as part of our systematic career and succession planning programme and continually developing measures to achieve a work-life balance.

d) Social Involvement

As a major corporate group and in its cooperative tradition, the REWE Group feels obligated to be engaged socially and supports numerous national and international social projects. The action areas under the "Social Involvement" pillar are: "Healthy Nutrition and Exercise", "Opportunities for Children and Young People", "Handling Food Responsibly" and "Consumer Education and Training". In addition, the following preamble was formulated for the food retail sector in Germany: "REWE and PENNY promote non-profit organisations and projects, as well as organisations dedicated to consumer education".

One commitment of particular significance to the REWE Group is to support local food bank initiatives. For instance, for more than 18 years now, the Company has been one of the primary sponsors of more than 900 "Tafel" food banks across Germany and a member of the Bundesverband Deutsche Tafel e.V.

Sustainability Activities

The core of the REWE Group's sustainability activities is the active integration and sensitisation of all relevant stakeholder groups, consumers in particular. The sales lines oversee customer relations, for instance by providing information in the form of weekly flyers, on its website or as part of Sustainability-related initiatives. Manufacturers of brand-name products are also motivated to make their offerings more sustainable. For instance, the REWE Group is a proud supporter of the "Germany's most sustainable products" competition, where consumers can vote online to determine the winners. The winners receive the German Sustainability Award that was handed out in December 2017 together with the German Sustainability Award Foundation. 

In order to discuss important specific topics with stakeholders, the REWE Group has organised dialogue forums since 2010. For instance, on 15 November 2017 lectures, workshops and even a trend exhibition provided a framework for creative exchange between REWE Group executives, policymakers, representatives from NGOs and scientists, entitled "A change in perspective".