Sonae recorded a good start to the year of 2018, with Q1 consolidated turnover growing by 8.7% and profitability (EBITDA) by 9.5%. The performance of our food retail business and of Worten were particularly strong, both in terms of absolute growth but also in terms of LFL sales, recording LFL growth of 5.3% and 8.8% respectively, well above what the calendar effect can explain. Including the remaining co-controlled companies, which performance also showed a favorable trend, turnover and EBITDA in aggregated terms reached 1,800 million euros (+6.7%) and 230 million euros (+6.0%), respectively.
In addition to these encouraging results, we continued the execution of our different businesses’ strategies and management of our portfolio, namely through the creation of the Iberian Sports Retail Group, materialised in the beginning of February, which is a result of the combination of Sport Zone with Sprinter and JD’s Iberian operations and whose impact will start to be seen in our accounts from the next quarter onwards.
We also managed to maintain a significant level of investment, particularly into our growth avenues, at the same time as we reduced the cost and amount of our group debt and optimized our capital structure that supports our shareholder remuneration policy through dividends, which have grown at 5% a year since 2012.