Manager for MAXIMA GRUPĖ: revival cannot be seen so far but one may start planning the future
Turnover of MAXIMA GRUPĖ, UAB within 6 months of 2010 shrank by 11.1% and amounted to LTL 3.52 billion, exclusive of value added tax (VAT). It was almost LTL 0.44 billion less than within the same period in 2009.
However, the pace of shrinking of turnover of the Company operating a retail chain in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Bulgaria has been slowing down: in Q1 it was 12.5%, and in Q2 – 9.8%, compared to the same period last year. Within the first half of 2010, companies held by MAXIMA GRUPĖ granted to their buyers discounts totally amounting to more than LTL 275 million.
"We have reached a crossroad. On one hand, we have been already observing some signs of stabilisation in the drop-down of the Company's turnover in the Baltic States, and therefore we are able to plan our further steps into the future. On the second hand, overall turnover in the markets MAXIMA GRUPĖ is present in has dropped down by more than one-tenth this year, therefore it is way too early to speak of revival", Mr. Mindaugas Bagdonavičius, the Director General for MAXIMA GRUPĖ, UAB, was saying.
Within the reporting period, turnover of the largest Lithuanian retail company MAXIMA LT decreased by 13.7% and amounted to LTL 2.03 billion, exclusive of VAT. According to the General Manager for MAXIMA GRUPĖ, the results in Lithuania were affected by both the level of consumption that decreased considerably during the economic hardship period and the last year's decision by the Competition Council, due to which the Company had to close a part of their stores. Changes in the tax environment have also been significant, increase of the VAT rate in particular, alongside with growing shadow economy. According to Mr. Bagdonavičius, the Company expects to maintain its current market share in Lithuania, therefore it is going to invest more into quality and renovation of the supermarket chain.
Meanwhile the situation in Latvia and Estonia is a bit better. "The countries started experiencing the economic downturn approx. 6 months earlier than Lithuania. Thus they also started climbing out of the recession earlier than their neighbour. Moreover, people's purchasing power in the neighbouring Baltic States is higher than in Lithuania, and opening of some new stores also contributed to better financial results ", said Mr. Bagdonavičius, adding that two new stores were opened in each of them.
Turnover of MAXIMA Latvija that is currently operating 129 stores in Latvia within the first 6 months of the current year dropped down by 8.5% and amounted to LTL 895 million, exclusive of VAT. Meanwhile turnover of MAXIMA Eesti operating in the Estonian market shrunk the least of all – by 3.2% and amounted to LTL 425 million, exclusive of VAT.
Decline in turnover of MAXIMA Bulgaria that operates in Bulgaria is being observed for the third quarter in turn. Within 6 months of 2010, it dropped down by 14.8% and amounted to as little as LTL 95.57 million, exclusive of VAT. Such result was influenced by deepening economic recession in the country, which started in H2 2009. However, according to Mr. Bagdonavičius, further expansion in the country is being planned.
Turnover of UAB Ermitažas, which is a subsidiary of MAXIMA GRUPĖ, declined by 7.2% within the first 6 months of 2010 and amounted to LTL 74.28 million, exclusive of VAT.
Registered in 2007, MAXIMA GRUPĖ, UAB is an operative financial holding that operates a retail business in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Bulgaria and has a chain of 428 supermarkets Maxima X, Maxima XX, Maxima XXX, T-Market, and Ermitažas: 216 stores in Lithuania, 129 – in Latvia, 53 – in Estonia, and 30 – in Bulgaria. Companies held by MAXIMA GRUPĖ, UAB in the aforementioned countries totally employ over 25,500 members of staff.

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