Online shopping boosts Israel's Shufersal Q3 profit, revenue

FILE PHOTO: A man pushes a shopping cart outside Shufersal, Israel's largest supermarket chain, in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Mishor Adumim near Jerusalem May 5, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Awa

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, reported a 76% increase in quarterly net profit, boosted by record revenue due to a jump in online shopping resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Shufersal said on Wednesday it earned 97 million shekels ($29 million) in the third quarter, up from 55 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose 14.5% to 3.9 billion shekels, while same store sales increased 13.6%.

Online sales accounted for 20.8% of its total food sales in the quarter, up from 14.8% a year earlier.

CEO Yitzchak Abercohen said the results reflect Shufersal’s ability to cope with a crisis as a matter of routine. Investments in infrastructure are bearing fruit and have allowed the company to grow, he said.

The company noted that the timing of Jewish high holidays in September and October was similar to that of 2019 and had minimal impact on its quarterly results.

Shufersal in late 2018 bought New-Pharm Drugstores, which operates dozens of branches in Israel, for 130 million shekels. Sales at its Be drugstore unit rose 14.3% to 216 million shekels due to the opening of new branches and on growth in online sales.

In July, Discount Investment Corp sold its controlling stake in Shufersal for 1.46 billion shekels ($429.5 million) to institutional investors, leaving the company without a controlling shareholder.

($1 = 3.3325 shekels)

Reporting by Steven Scheer, editing by Louise Heavens