Dino leapfrogs monsters

The Dino supermarket chain, which has focussed growth outside urban areas, has seen its Warsaw Stock Exchange valuation grow 5-fold since its IPO in 2017 to PLN 23 bn (EUR 5.2 bn), topping Orlen the energy giant as Poland’s sixth largest listed company.

The company has seen its growth strategy of building its stores just outside small towns and villages bear fruit, partially because it rarely comes up against the competition of the major chains, with rivals so far focusing on larger towns or urban areas. Its quarterly sales are around PLN 2bn ( EUR 450 mln), with profits around PLN 100 mln (EUR 230 mln) a quarter.

By comparison, the supermarket leader on the Polish market is Biedronka owned by Potugal-based Jerónimo Martins, which had local sales in the first quarter of PLN 15 bn (EUR 3.3 bn).

However, while other chains have been muted in their growth plans this year, and some such as Tesco and Auchan have been selling or closing down stores, Dino has opened a further 84 stores since January, bringing its total over 1,300. It is this dynamism which has appealed to investors. Bankier website, however, warns against expectations of everlasting rapid growth.

The shakeup in values of listed companies in Poland of late has not only affected Dino. With record growth of trading volumes on the WSE during and after lockdown, tech company CD Projekt has also seen massive gains, as has copper and silver producer KGHM. Meanwhile, companies in the energy and banking sector, making up the majority of companies in the WIG20 index, were sluggish even before lockdown and have either just recovered their February valuations, or in the case of banking, are still in the doldrums.

Looking at the 2019 Forbes Magazine ranking, bankier website suggests the valuation may make the illusive founder and owner of 51 percent of the shares, Tomasz Bernacki, the richest man in Poland, with a net worth of PLN 12 bn (EUR 2.7 bn), based solely on his shareholding of the Dino Group. Bernacki is now just behind Zygmunt Solorza-Żak, owner of Cyfrowy Polsat, ZE PAK and ATM, and Polpharmal owner, Jerzy Starak.