In the Retail and Industry sector, the result increased by CHF 34 million to CHF 360 million (+10.5%).
In the Financial Services sector, the operating result increased by CHF 11 million to CHF 291 million (+4.1%).
Operating result of the Retail and Industry sector
The operating result for the Retail and Industry sector improved in 2018 compared to the previous year. Within the individual strategic business units, the trend varies. The online trade and the omni-channel presence are growing in importance, while in-store business is on the decline. Disruptive trends and digitalisation are influencing the course of business.
Improved operating result
Gross profit fell in the reporting year by CHF 48 million to CHF 11'327 million (-0.4%). In addition to salary rises of between 0.5% and 0.9%, the increase in personnel expenses by CHF 67 million to CHF 5'841 million (+1.2%) is mainly due to the change in the scope of consolidation and the expansion of a number of companies. Depreciation and amortisation decreased by CHF 33 million to CHF 1'437 million (-2.2%). The decrease in other operating expenses by CHF 115 million to CHF 3'690 million (-3.0%) is due mainly to rental expenses, advertising and other operating expenses.
Overall, the operating result for the Retail and Industry sector increased by CHF 34 million to CHF 360 million (+10.5%). Impairments weighed heavily upon the strategic business units Cooperative Retailing and Commerce in particular.
Operating result of the Financial Services sector
The Financial Services sector generated income from financial services business totalling CHF 777 million with costs of CHF 162 million. Net income from financial services business increased from CHF 588 million to CHF 615 million, due in particular to improved interest business.
Whereas income from financial services business decreased by CHF 2 million, expenses and impairment losses in the financial services business fell by CHF 29 million (in particular lower interest expense).
The expansion of the core activities led to an increase of CHF 9 million in both personnel expenses and other operating expenses, to CHF 181 million and CHF 119 million respectively. At CHF 31 million, depreciation and amortisation was only slightly above the level of the previous year.
Thanks to savings in terms of expenses, the operating result was increased by CHF 11 million to CHF 291 million.