Axfood takes market shares

Axfoods headquarters, Torsplan, Hagastaden, Stockholm. Photo: Gustav Kaiser
Axfoods headquarters, Torsplan, Hagastaden, Stockholm. Photo: Gustav Kaiser/
By Reidar Molthe

22 November 2022 09:50

Axfood takes market shares

While ICA is losing market share, it seems that arch-competitor, Axfood, is gaining market share.

Axfood at glance

Axfood aims to be a leader in affordable, good, and sustainable food. Daughter companies includes the store chains Willys and Hemköp, as well as Tempo and Handlar ́n.

Wholesale sales take place through Snabbgross and the support company Dagab is responsible for the group's product development, purchasing and logistics.

The Axfood family also includes Middagsfrid and Urban Deli as well as part-owned Apo hem, Eurocash, City Gross and MatHem.

Together, the group has just over 12,000 employees and a turnover of approximately SEK 66 billion.

Axfood's shares have been listed on Nasdaq Stockholm since 1997 and the main owner is Axel Johnson AB. Read more at

“With contributions from all businesses and an outstanding development at Willys, Axfood continues to grow significantly more than the market, writes managing director Klas Balkow in the interim report, where Willys sales growth in the third quarter landed at 20 percent.

During the quarter, the Hemköp segment had sales growth of just over 10 per cent, while Snabbgross grew by just under 17 per cent.

"During the third quarter, food price inflation has continued to rise to levels we have not seen since the 1980s. This at the same time as rising electricity prices and interest rate hikes are putting pressure on the Swedish household economy", CEO Klas Balkow stresses.

Willys is a strong low-price concept

Willys has taken market shares for a long time, also in a more normal inflation environment, a result of many years of development with a focus on creating clarity, optimal operations and maintaining a high rate of modernization in the store sector.

The Willys segment also benefits from Eurocash at the borders with Norway. Eurocash has a strong sales trend now that the cross-border trade has recovered after Covid.

Axfood's holding in Mathem (an online grocery store) has been revalued at SEK 206m, a decrease of SEK 635m, which is in line with the decline in value that has occurred for comparable companies.

Axfoods operating margin (EBIT) moves marginally in the quarter to 5.2 percent (5.8).

Why the difference between ICA and Axfood

  • Many people wonder about the different developments in ICA and Axfood. Some analysts point out that ICA has stretched its investment in the Baltics too long and thus lost competitiveness in Sweden as well.
  • Others point to ICA's delisting from the stock exchange and the scandal of insider trading in the process, which has taken so much leadership power that competitiveness has been greatly weakened.
  • A third explanation is that ICA has invested too much money and capacity into digital trade and home deliveries.

Sources: Axfood, ICA, DN and others.

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