21 March 2019
2018 was a successful year for Sonae, marked by significant growth, improved profitability and the conclusion of an important stage of our strategic development.
Consolidated turnover reached €6 bn (+8.1%), with a positive contribution of all business units, in particular Sonae MC (+7.0%) and Worten (+7.6%), both showing also strong LfL growth levels.
In terms of profitability, recurrent EBITDA increased by 12.2% to €425 M and EBITDA reached €483 M, corresponding to a growth of 26.7%. I would also like to highlight the performance of Sonae MC, which, in a challenging market environment, maintained its benchmark profitability levels.
The Group's net income exceeded €220 M, growing by 33.7%, with a particularly positive evolution of direct income which increased 58.3% versus 2017.
2018 was also marked by the endeavor to optimize the Group's organisational structure, with a special focus on strengthening management teams, ensuring competencies and complementarities that enable greater levels of autonomy, agility and inherent accountability, thus creating the conditions to better respond to the growing challenges of ever-changing competitive landscapes.
In terms of portfolio management, we began the year by concluding the merger between SportZone and JD Sprinter, which led to the creation of ISRG, a strong Iberian operator benefitting from important synergies and already delivering very positive results. Also of considerable importance was the additional investment in Sonae Sierra, enhancing the Group's international profile and creating the conditions to accelerate the implementation of our capital recycling strategy and take advantage of existing real estate value creation opportunities in an international context. Finally, we must highlight the continued strong investment, in both capital and skills, in our growth avenues, particularly in the areas of health and wellness, technology for retail and telecommunications, and new financial services.
This intense activity coincided with the last year of the current Board of Director’s mandate of which I was part as Co-CEO and ensured that the transfer of responsibilities now taking place was made with increased comfort and confidence. I am certain that our company is prepared for the challenges ahead and I have the deepest conviction and sincere wishes that the new executive team led by Cláudia Azevedo will continue to enhance the success of this unique project that unites us all, which is Sonae.
Ângelo Paupério, Sonae Co-CEO