May 13, 2020 / 10:34 AM / 22 days ago

Germany's Ceconomy says online sales quadrupled in April

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Ceconomy AG, Europe's largest consumer electronics retailer is pictured at the company's general shareholders meeting in Duesseldorf, Germany, February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BERLIN (Reuters) - Ceconomy (CECG.DE) saw online sales rise 300% in April even as it started reopening its stores, Europe’s biggest consumer electronics chain said on Wednesday.

Ceconomy, which runs 1,000 Media Markt and Saturn stores in 13 markets in Europe, said 92% of its stores have now reopened, with Turkey the only country where stores are still shut for now.

Online sales quadrupled in April, after already doubling in March as countries imposed lockdowns to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the group said it expected ecommerce to stay strong even now stores are open again.

“Next to recuperating store sales, which are partly driven by pent-up demand, we see continued sales momentum in the online channel,” MediaMarktSaturn Chief Executive Ferran Reverter said in a statement.

The group has struggled in recent years as it was slow to embrace ecommerce, even as the rise of players like Amazon (AMZN.O) ate into its sales. Online sales accounted for 15% of total sales in its fiscal first quarter ended in December.

It said earlier on Tuesday that it had secured a 1.7 billion euro ($1.84 billion) syndicated loan, including 1.36 billion from Germany’s state-owned lender KfW.

Ceconomy said last month that the lockdown had caused sales, adjusted for currency effects and portfolio changes, to fall by 6.6% in its fiscal second quarter and prompted an adjusted loss before interest and taxes of 131 million euros.

It reports full second-quarter results on Thursday.

($1 = 0.9222 euros)

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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