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Netherlands: Action is worth more than Carrefour and Ahold Delhaize

Discount Variety Retail Chain Action, owned by 3i group, is worth 29.4 billion euros, according to its owner, investment fund 3i. That is almost three times as many as in 2019 and much more than Carrefour or even Ahold Delhaize.

According to its owner, the British investment fund 3i, the Dutch chain Action is worth 29.4 billion euros, Het Financieele Dagblad reports on the basis of a financial report from the parent company. In comparison, this is more than the retail chains Carrefour and Ahold Delhaize. Although both have about eight times the turnover of the low-end retailer, the former can boast a market capitalization of 'only' 25 billion euros and the latter of just under 11 billion euros. To arrive at this amount of 29.4 billion euros, which is three times more than four years ago, 3i (which holds 54.8% of the retailer's shares), values the non-listed Action at 18.5 times its EBITDA annually, accounting for 1.6 billion euros in 2023.

Profitability and purchasing power

The low-cost retailer has experienced impressive growth in recent years. Last year, not only did EBITDA increase by 28%, but revenue also increased by more than 27% to 11.3 billion euros compared to 2022. In addition, the profit margin reached 14.3%, compared to 13.6% a year earlier and the 'meager' 10% in 2019. An enviable level of profitability, enabled by a business model that has been able to respond to consumer expectations and an ever-increasing scale. "The volumes we buy are really significant," then CEO Sander van der Laan explained to Belga a few years ago. "A local chain store buys a few hundred thousand iPhone cases. We buy a few million of them. According to classical economic law, we therefore have purchasing power." In 2023, the chain opened its 500th store in Germany, its 300th in Poland and its 100th in Austria, for a total of 303 new openings in one year. The chain now has 2,566 points of sale in 11 European countries (soon to be 12, with Action planning to open in Portugal this month), including 215 in Belgium, with around 80,000 employees worldwide. Add to this sober stores in less desirable locations (with low rents) and minimal spending on communication and advertising, and you have a recipe for success for a company that is worth almost 30 billion euros after 30 years... and does not intend to stop there.


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