According to ECO, Pingo Doce is investing in the restaurant area, whereby they are planning to open 50 restaurants in supermarkets this year, to reach a total of 240 and become the largest restaurant chain in the country, the CEO stated.

Questioned, at a press conference, about Jerónimo Martins' position and the response to increased competition in the domestic food retail market with investment from international players, such as the Spanish Mercadona, the French Auchan and the German Lidl and Aldi, Isabel Ferreira Pinto, CEO of Pingo Doce, responded that prices and differentiation are important.

ECO cites, “What is happening in the Portuguese market is not new. We are used to operating in a competitive market and we take this with ease. It is part of our daily lives”, she stated, adding that the company will continue to invest in its “price proposal and maintain promotional activity as the center of the strategy to continue to honour the preference of the Portuguese”.

She highlighted, however, stating that the company has, “ above all, to differentiate itself against all other operators, to continue investing in the area of food, which is the area of ​​differentiation and profitability in the future”.

She explained that, after ending 2023 with 190 restaurants, Pingo Doce “is planning to open another 50 this year”. “We opened our first restaurant 17 years ago and we hope to end 2024 as the largest restaurant chain in Portugal,” she concluded.

Jerónimo Martins' net profits rose 28.2% in 2023, to 756 million euros, the company said in a statement sent to ECO.

The company had already reported, on January 11, that turnover soared 20.6% to 30,608 million euros in 2023, due to strong sales performance with “a focus on price competitiveness and growth in volume”, which allowed us to surpass the 30 billion euro sales milestone for the first time.

In Portugal, Pingo Doce recorded a 7.9% increase in annual sales to 4.9 billion euros, with like-for-like sales (LFL), that is, comparing the same stores without taking into account new openings, of 7.7%. In the cash&carry segment, tourism was the driver of growth, with Recheio increasing sales by 15.1% to 1.3 billion euros, with an LFL of 14%.

In the outlook for 2024, the company highlighted that in Portugal there are persistent signs of pressure on families related to high-interest rates, “it is therefore expected that consumption will remain undynamic”, adding that Pingo Doce “will maintain its strong and recognized commercial dynamics and will continue with the implementation of the new store concept that highlights the brand's differentiation, in terms of meal solutions and perishables.

Pingo Doce ended 2023 with 482 stores, having opened 11 stores and closed one. The company plans to remodel between 60 and 80 stores during the year and open around 10 new locations.