* Sees 2020/2021 adjusted EBIT at 320-370 million euros
* E-sales to rise to 30% of revenue mid-term
* Sees limited effect from lockdown in Germany
* Shares jump almost 30% (Adds CEO comments from call, share price)
By Zuzanna Szymanska
Dec 15 (Reuters) - Ceconomy AG, the owner of the MediaMarkt and Saturn electrical goods chains, expects core profit in 2020-21 to reach 80-90% of the previous year’s level as strong online sales limit the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shares in the German company were up 28.2% at 1130 GMT on Tuesday, the biggest one-day increase in their history, as the guidance update followed news on Monday evening that the group had resolved a long-standing dispute with the family of MediaMarkt-Saturn’s late co-founder.
Shares in Ceconomy, which operates over 1,000 stores in Europe, have swung sharply during the pandemic. They plunged over 60% during the first wave of lockdowns, but later recovered as the firm adapted to the shift to online shopping.
While it is difficult to predict the effects of the latest lockdown in Germany, where Ceconomy runs over 40% of its stores, the company should continue to benefit from online shopping trends and the availability of pick-up services, Chief Executive Bernhard Duettmann told a conference call.
“In Germany, luckily, we’re allowed to have a pick-up process and I think that’s extremely important,” the CEO said. “In the Netherlands, you are allowed to pick up your pizza, but you are not allowed to pick-up your PC.”
He added that Austria and Belgium were also in lockdown during the Black Friday sales period, but Ceconomy still recorded very strong sales in these countries.
The company’s financial year started on Oct. 1.
As a result of Monday’s agreement, the Kellerhals family’s vehicle Convergenta will become an anchor minority shareholder in Ceconomy. However, it will not be given veto rights, Duettmann told the call.
$1 = 0.8231 euros Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska in Gdansk; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Mark Potter
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