year year

Year in Review

Message from the Chairman
  • Share
  • Listen

“We remained firm in our commitment to be a force against inflation, with our Companies absorbing, in their margins, part of the increases in the costs of goods sold in order not to fully transfer them to the shelf prices.”

The world experienced a year of deep shock in 2022 with the unexpected invasion of Ukraine by the forces of the Russian Federation, and it is now clear that we have entered a new period of history in which uncertainty, instability, and insecurity have once again become prevalent.

The war in Ukraine has become the biggest military conflict on European soil since the end of the Second World War, and at the time of writing this message, more than a year has passed since it all began. The end of the war seems now more distant than we might have assumed at the end of last year. The arms race, on both sides of the conflict, is more alive than ever and the West’s willingness to help Ukraine seems firm. The tension between the two blocs is growing, and several analysts say that since the Cuban missile crisis in the early 1960s the world hasn’t been this close to using nuclear weapons.

In this regard, and even though the reasons are deeply saddening, I cannot hide the pride for the generous, prompt and fraternal way our teams in Poland supported the millions of Ukrainian refugees who entered the country in the days, weeks, and months following the invasion, of which more than a million still remain. In this report, we also elaborate on this response and the hard work that, in partnership with non-governmental organisations that know the field well, enabled us to get our direct contributions and those of our clients to the people who needed help the most.

On top of the war, 2022 has seen a sharpening of geopolitical polarisation. Tension between the USA and China experienced new peaks, with China not aligning itself with the economic sanctions applied to Russia by Western countries and taking a strong stance towards Taiwan. The large-scale military exercises that China conducted in response to the visits of US political leaders to Taipei, or the strong reinforcement of American military equipment supply to Taiwan, show that the hypothesis that China could invade the island, in a move to affirm its supremacy in the region, is now a more likely scenario.

The war in Ukraine caused a seismic shock in the world’s commodity markets at a time when supply chains were still fragile and trying to recover from the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. With Russia and Ukraine being among the world’s largest producers of cereals (as for instance wheat, corn and barley), sunflower oil and fertilizers, the war and the sanctions have wiped out an important part of the supply, generating a significant increase in food prices – with direct and substantial impacts on our business.

“I cannot hide the pride for the generous, prompt and fraternal way our teams in Poland supported the millions of Ukrainian refugees who entered the country in the days, weeks, and months following the invasion.”

In addition, the roller coaster that energy prices have become in 2022 has highlighted Europe’s energy dependence (especially Germany and Italy) on Russia, the EU’s main supplier of natural gas, oil and coal, and the urgent need for a strategic revolution towards a new energy order. However, before anything else, access to energy sources had to be stabilised, and this included strengthening investments in sources such as oil and coal, which is the price to be paid for security.

The energy shock and the sharp rise in food prices were at the root of the huge increase in inflation, the first signs of which were already being felt by the end of summer 2021. In macroeconomic terms, instability was a constant in 2022. In order to curb inflation, the world’s largest central banks entered a spiral of interest rates increases, reaching the highest levels in four decades.

In this context, a positive note to the fact that economies have performed better than expected, which is very visible in the countries where we are present. Families, threatened by the loss of purchasing power, and companies, facing unexpected increases in all cost lines, tried to find strategies to adapt to the demanding socioeconomic conditions.

25,385 M€
1,854 M€
1,013 M€

Our Companies, in a remarkable effort to adapt to the political, social and economic environment, reinforced their focus on competitiveness as a way to protect the consumer’s purchasing power and, consequently, volumes. As a result, consolidated sales reached 25.4 billion euros, an increase of 21.5% compared to 2021. While it is true that inflation also played a role in driving sales in value, our collective performance went far beyond the pure mathematical application of inflation rates. We remained firm in our commitment to be a force against inflation, with our Companies absorbing, in their margins, part of the increases in the costs of goods sold in order not to fully transfer them to the shelf prices. It is also this effort that is reflected in the reduction of 0.3 percentage points in the Group’s EBITDA margin compared to 2021.

Biedronka, that increased sales in złoty by 24.1%, with a like-for-like growth of 20.6%, launched the Anti-inflation Shield campaign, freezing the prices of 150 products during the first half of 2022. This resulted in an increase in shelf prices well below food inflation in Poland, which was of 15.4% for the year.

The Company also moved forward with new strategies to strengthen convenience, broaden the customer base, and deepen the relationship with consumers, launching a new app that was an immediate success, focusing on online shopping and fast deliveries, and creating Biedronka Home, an online store of non-food products.

Also in Poland, Hebe maintained its growth path based on the selective choice of the locations where it opens new stores and on the evolution of the digital platform, which represents 14% of the Company’s sales. By the end of 2022, online operations started in Czechia and Slovakia.

In Portugal, where food inflation reached an average of 13% in the year, the way consumers reacted to price increases was very visible, with a notorious trading down movement. To respond to this trend, Pingo Doce was always focused on containing the effect of price rises on families’ purchasing power, keeping an intense promotional activity throughout the year. The result was an 11.2% growth in sales, with like-for-like standing at 9.4%.

Pingo Doce ran two very relevant campaigns during the year, always focused on price: one, launched at the end of 2022, which recovered the 2021 prices in a series of essential products, and the other with “locked” prices during the first summer months.

Recheio managed to take good advantage of the dynamics of the HoReCa channel generated by the rebound in tourism. The Company’s commercial assertiveness allowed sales to grow 27.7%. One of the relevant facts of the year was the opening of an important new store, with a model based on increasingly convenient food solutions aimed at the professional hotel and restaurant market. Recheio is also taking care of its future growth in the traditional retail segment and has surpassed 500 Amanhecer stores by 2022.

In Colombia, Ara once again showed very strong growth momentum, and is already the third most relevant company for the Group in terms of sales, that grew 62.1% in Colombian pesos, with a like-for-like of 35.7% (food inflation for the year was of 25%). Ara’s evolution was driven by two strategic axes: on the one hand, investment in price, quality and differentiation of the offer; on the other hand, the acceleration of physical expansion, with the number of openings in the year significantly exceeding what was in the beginning of 2022.

A milestone in 2022 was the opening of the 1,000th store in Cartagena de Indias, less than a decade into our entry in Colombia. It is exactly now, in this March of 2023 when I write, that ten years have passed since the opening of the first Ara store. We are witnesses of the important development journey that Colombia has made in these years, of its economic evolution and of the strength of its institutions, and we are proud to grow with the country and contribute to the prosperity of its people.

Our global results, with a profit of 590 million euros (+27.5% vs. 2021) and an EBITDA of 1,854 million euros (+17%), in the context in which we operated in 2022, reflect the rigorous and attentive management at all levels of our organisation, and our transversal focus on protecting the market positions and the relevance of our brands in their respective markets. Our high level of commitment to investing in our businesses contributed decisively to these results.

“Our sustainability agenda is ambitious and progress in its accomplishment can only be achieved with the contribution of all the more than 130 thousand people in this Group.”

2022 was, in fact, the year in which we invested the most, surpassing the billion-euro mark. We maintain a solid cash position – a management trait that defines us – and this allows us to present to the next General Shareholders’ Meeting a dividend distribution proposal in line with the defined policy, without jeopardizing our financial strength and our investment options.

In 2022 we celebrated 230 years of commercial activity. The Jerónimo Martins brand was born in 1792 and this long path of growth, which already crosses four centuries, has only been possible because we have remained loyal to certain principles and values that guide us: raising the bar, counting on each other, believing in doing the right thing.

Of what we do – and what we know is right – I highlight the investments we channelled to our decarbonisation strategy, to a more efficient management of energy and water consumption, and the increasingly responsible use of natural resources. We are committed to being a reference in respecting animal welfare, in fighting plastic pollution and deforestation, and in climate action. In the social area, I always have a renewed satisfaction with the work we develop to support the communities in the three countries where we are. The food donations that we provide to the most vulnerable population groups (the value of which represents more than 80% of our total donations) increased significantly last year, totalling around 60 million euros (calculated at cost price of goods). A note of particular satisfaction with the opening of a second Incluir Centre in Portugal, this time in the city of Porto, which strengthened our capacity to provide professional opportunities to people who have more difficulty in accessing the labour market.

Our sustainability agenda is ambitious and progress in its accomplishment can only be achieved with the contribution of all the more than 130 thousand people in this Group. They are the force behind our performance in the different dimensions, and it is their commitment, their dedication, and their spirit of mission that enable us to deliver the results that we present in this Annual Report.

My first and most important words of gratitude go to our people, especially to those who work in operations and who are, therefore, our face to our customers. In 2022, we channelled 289 million euros to recognize and reward our employees in Portugal, Poland and Colombia, an increase of 33% on the previous year.

A note of appreciation also to our shareholders, namely the family to which I belong and which I represent, for the trust they place in the management teams and for their commitment to the long term.

Finally, thank you to my colleagues in the Group’s Managing Committee and the Board of Directors, without whom the performance and the results we hereby report would certainly be very different.


Pedro Soares dos Santos
Chairman and CEO of the Jerónimo Martins Group


It was a year of solid sales growth in all countries where we operate.


Learn about our leading key performance indicators in 2022.


Know how we act as responsible corporate citizens.

Download centre

You can download the Annual Report in full or by chapter for more detailed information.