Rewe boss makes further front against edeka plans

Rewe boss makes further front against edeka plans

Rewe boss alain caparros continues to take up the fight against rival edeka’s takeover plans in the run-up to the federal cartel office’s decision.

The manager said in dusseldorf that he would "try everything – with fair methods and only legally" to ensure that edeka did not get kaiser’s tengelmann. For the german retail giants, it is a matter of "the last chance to watch out externally," caparros said, explaining his tough stance. For this reason, it is already a success for rewe if the number of supermarkets on the sales list shrinks.

Edeka had originally planned to take over all 451 kaiser’s-tengelmann supermarkets. However, the antitrust office raised massive concerns about the plan of the major german grocer on competition law grounds and threatened to ban the deal. In the meantime, edeka and tengelmann have offered to sell almost a quarter of the supermarkets to other interested parties. It remains to be seen whether this will be enough for the antitrust authorities. The decision of the competition watchdog is expected this week.

Caparros once again warned politicians not to pave the way for the plans of edeka and tengelmann with a ministerial approval in the event of a veto by the cartel office. It would be a "supergau" if federal economics minister sigmar gabriel (SPD) were to be "best man for this dubious wedding," the manager said. Politicians must not allow themselves to be held hostage by talk of a second schlecker case.

In the battle against arch-rival edeka, rewe is not only relying on strong words, but is also vigorously expanding its online grocery business. Rewe was thus able to generate sales even in regions such as berlin or munich, where the company’s position in stationary retailing is rather weak, said CFO christian mielsch. The rewe delivery service now supplies 57 cities in germany and almost quadrupled its online sales in 2014.

But above all, the rewe group benefited last year from its flourishing supermarket business in germany. The tourism division, which includes the travel providers dertour, jahn-reisen and ITS, also increased its sales. The group’s own toom DIY stores also showed significant growth.

In addition, caparros reported that the discount chain penny deutschland, which had been a problem child for many years, was right on target for a return to the black in 2016.

Overall, sales of the retail giant increased by 2.4 percent to 51.1 billion euros. Caparros was also satisfied with the development of earnings. The company reported a clear double-digit increase in net income for the year, without giving an exact figure.

In central and eastern europe, however, rewe also felt the effects of the challenging economic and political conditions. Nevertheless, caparros affirmed: "we will not withdraw from russia and ukraine."

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