Supermarkets expect sales to increase in H1


Supermarket company officials expect sales to rise in the first half of the year, albeit marginally, after statistics showed a considerable decline in November.

Hellenic Statistical Authority data released on Wednesday revealed that sales volume in retail commerce fell 2.9 percent year-on-year in November. However, a survey by the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA) showed that the majority of respondents expect a rebound for the first time in two years.

Of the corporate officials polled, 34 percent said they expect a year-on-year rise in sales this half, with 3 percent even forecasting a rise of more than 5 percent from H1 2017. The average increase anticipated amounts to 0.2 percent. One in four (25 percent) expect a decline, compared to 60 percent last year, while another 41 percent see no change.

The vast majority of respondents expressed satisfaction with the completion of the recent mergers and acquisitions and their initial results as well as with the completion of the third bailout review.

Yet despite signs the economy is strengthening, the survey, carried out between January 15 and 25, showed that the majority of sector officials believe the general climate remains uncertain, while the second biggest problem identified is the high value-added tax rates.