The second quarter of 2020 was certainly one of the toughest quarters in Sonae’s history. After a good start to the year, we were all hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in mid-March and it was during the second quarter that we felt most of the impacts to date of this unprecedented and challenging situation. As I have stated multiple times, our main concern since day one has been the health and safety of our people, customers and partners, while we continue to provide essential services to society and to support our communities. All our businesses have been severely impacted by this situation, but I am proud to say that our collective response has been quite outstanding. I feel truly honoured and privileged to lead such a resilient and generous team. These past few months have shown not only the cohesion and coordination of the top management team at Sonae, but also the strong commitment of our people to serve our customers and take great care of all our stakeholders.
Our portfolio showed a very resilient performance throughout the last few weeks. I would like to highlight the exceptional performances of both Sonae MC and Worten, which, in such a challenging context, were able to strengthen their leadership positions in the Portuguese market and grow turnover by more than 9% and 6% yoy in this second quarter of the year, respectively. But I would also like to stress the resilience of the remaining businesses in our portfolio, especially the ones which were forced to shut down during most of 2Q. Sonae Sierra faced a particularly challenging situation, namely in Portugal, with all shopping centres practically closed during the quarter and high uncertainty regarding rent collection driven by unprecedented legislation (despite the agreements that had already been reached with the vast majority of tenants). Overall, Sonae grew 5% yoy in the quarter and underlying EBITDA was practically stable vs last year in comparable terms. This is a remarkable performance considering that many of our operations were shut down for many weeks.
Under these challenging times, maintaining a solid financial position is essential to face the future with confidence. Since the beginning of 2020, we have been able to further reinforce our capital structure with several refinancing operations totalling more than €650 M and extensive cash preservation initiatives. This has enabled us to keep a healthy liquidity position and maintain our commitments to all stakeholders. Currently, all the companies in our portfolio hold conservative balance sheets, which will be important to face the upcoming months.
While we remained deeply committed to protecting our businesses and serving our customers, we have not lost sight of our environmental and social sustainability priorities. In the past few months, we have continued to reinforce our social responsibility initiatives in a number of areas, namely food donations and government support initiatives related to the fight against Covid-19, and we have continued to make significant progress towards our CO2 emissions and plastics consumption goals.
The next few months will bring different types of challenges for our teams, and I am confident that Sonae will overcome these challenges. We have a resilient portfolio of businesses and a strong financial position, but most importantly the right people and the right values embedded across the organisation.