Message from the CEO

We stand side by side with famillies, fulfilling our purpose

Dear shareholders, colleagues and partners 2022 was once again a year of major turbulence at an international level. If, in January, there was the expectation that we could move on from the terrible pandemic, Russia's invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February gave rise to a new global disruption, repercussions of which deeply marked the ensuing months.

The unexpected warlike atmosphere in Europe resulted in an escalation of inflation, driven by the rise in food and energy commodity prices, the impacts of which were also felt in Portugal. The subsequent deterioration of household purchasing power, aggravated by the increase in interest rates in the second half of the year, led to structural changes in consumption behaviour.

Amid a context that was also challenging and volatile for companies, MC stood at the families side, as it has always done, unequivocally, throughout years of hardship and uncertainty. Our Clients once again recognized our commitment, enabling us to conclude 2022 with a reinforced market leadership position and a sense of fulfilled duty towards all our stakeholders.

In 2022, MC's turnover reached €6 billion, growing by 11.5% compared to 2021, supported by a positive trading evolution on a like-for-like basis (across all our banners) and by the execution of the Company's expansion plan. Regarding operating profitability, EBITDA reached €565 million, corresponding to a margin of 9.5% of turnover, heavily pressured by our efforts to contain the impact of inflation on consumer prices and by the significant increase in energy costs.

Month after month, our teams focused on providing our Clients with the best offers in the market at the lowest prices. We prioritised our efforts in launching innovative savings solutions and reinforcing our private label range, which gained higher relevance in total sales.

We also advanced to differentiate our food proposition in the customers' eyes by introducing new formats and convenience solutions, such as “Cozinha Continente” (Continente Kitchen) restaurants and “Continente do Bebé” (Baby's Continente) club. Among many noteworthy initiatives in health, wellness, and beauty, we launched the new “KeepWells” health insurance and bolstered the specialist profile of our banners in the beauty and optics segments.

Throughout the year, we invested in expanding our omnichannel leadership, promoting the growth of our e-commerce platforms and enhancing the capillarity and modernity of our store network, namely with the opening of 65 company-operated stores and the remodelling of 33 stores. In tandem, we continued to advance in the digital transformation of our businesses, investing in the growing digitalization of the shopping experience, as exemplified by the 2.3 million users of the Cartão Continente (Continente Loyalty Card) app.

Also worth mentioning is the progress made in the various dimensions of MC's sustainable development agenda. We achieved significant progress in areas such as the decarbonisation of our operations, the recyclability of our private label plastic packaging and the reduction of food waste. Aware of the significant burden of the inflationary setting, we stepped up our direct community support and organized fundraising campaigns to help those in need. Furthermore, we prioritised a comprehensive set of measures directed at the development and well-being of our People, progressing in the important thematic of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We are very proud of our achievements and results obtained in 2022, which are a testament to the enormous commitment, resilience, and competence of our teams, who, thus, deserve due recognition and my personal gratitude.

For 2023, the enormous challenges associated with a transforming and increasingly competitive food retail sector persist amid a consumption environment still heavily pressured by high inflation. We remain committed to our trajectory, seeking to always be worthy of families trust and maintaining our promise to deliver exceptional value proposals to our Clients, creating sustainable value for all stakeholders.

(And) We will continue to be a certainty in a world of uncertainties.

Luís Moutinho