After a difficult year for the group’s commercial activity, El Corte Inglés sees the first positive signs at the start of its 2021 fiscal year, which began on March 1. As the company explained this Friday, all its stores in Spain and Portugal are currently “open and without mobility restrictions”, although it remembers that there are still limitations to travel between the two countries. Despite this, he hopes that “they will be phased out as vaccination progresses.”
With all that, The English Court It says in its presentation of results that it has reached sales levels in its commercial activity similar to those of March and April 2019, “despite some persistent effects of the pandemic. Company sources extend this situation until May, so the distribution group would have closed its first quarter of the year with similar income levels in 2019 in its retail business.
According to the results that the company published regarding the first quarter of 2020, sales in the retail activity in the same period of the previous year were 2,757 million euros. Due to the impact of the pandemic and the lockdowns, that figure fell by 39% in the first quarter of 2020 to 1,684 million. The recovery of the 2019 levels is good news for the group, and it would achieve this despite the fact that, for example, the department stores located in Portugal remained closed until April. In that country, non-essential trade was closed from January 15 to mid-March.
A step forward in the recovery of the group, although it is still pending the recovery of its second most important business: that of the travel agency. This will take longer, while there are still uncertainties about the tourist campaign for the summer, especially in the international section. In any case, it is expected that, with the advances in vaccination, the tourist business will improve the bad figures of last year and this will allow the El Corte Inglés travel business to recover part of the lost ground. It must be taken into account that in 2020 its turnover plummeted by 88%, from entering 2,731 million to only 309. In the coming weeks, El Corte Inglés will announce the results of its first quarter.