El Corte Inglés has agreed to a cash dividend of 125 million, the largest since 2007.

English court Friday, in its shareholder meeting, agreed to distribute a cash dividend of 125 million euros on account of record results for 2022, an increase of 67% over the previous year. After the difficulties of the epidemic and Entrance to the capital of Mutua MadrileneThe group boasted about its current financial position: “We are living through one of the most promising phases in our history, and we have an exciting future ahead of us,” said group president Marta Alvarez, according to a statement sent by the company, which will promote its own unit brand this year, specializing in affordable apparel. The meeting also renewed Paloma García Peña and Carlota Areces, representatives of two families of major shareholders, and Fernando Becker (independent) as directors for another five years.

The group hasn’t released dividend numbers each year, and it’s hard to say 2022 is historic. But it is the largest since at least 2007, when it cashed out $78.2 million among its shareholders. The 125 million dividends corresponding to the last financial year ending on February 28 represent 14% of the net profit, which reached a record 870 million thanks to the extraordinary ones achieved by the company. Sale of insurance business to Mutua. Without these unusual amounts, the company earned 207 million, which is the best number since 2018. Regarding this amount, the dividend is 60%. In this way, profits are significantly increased, which in 2021 had already returned to the pre-pandemic level (75 million, as in 2019).

More income and benefits than before the pandemic

The meeting approved all points raised on the agenda, including the results of the last fiscal year, which It exceeded the level of sales and profits before the pandemicDespite the economic turmoil caused by inflation and high interest rates. In her speech, the El Corte Inglés boss noted that 2022 was a “growth year” for the group, and for all of its divisions, including the travel division, which has taken longer to recover after the pandemic.

The businesswoman also highlighted the investments made in repairing and modernizing the stores: “2022 was the year when our stores were once again filled with customers; we had over 1,500 million visits between our physical stores and our websites and appsThe company has repaired, among others, Castellana, Serrano, Preciados and Pozuelo centers in Madrid; Bilbao. Girona. Malaga, Marbella and Badajoz. In addition, renovations are underway in A Coruña, Jerez and Talavera de la Reina, in the center of Plaza del Duque in Seville, and on Calle de Joya in Madrid.

New unit stores

El Corte Inglés also announced “the opening of several unit stores.” So far, this brand, which targets a client similar to that of Lefties (Inditex) or Primark, has been sold in Hipercor centers, but the company wants to promote it through various stores within its other centers and is even preparing to open some establishments outside it.

Marta Álvarez also stated that the company had completed a “zero waste” project in all supermarkets and logistics platforms of El Corte Inglés “, and that the same process had begun in the Supercor supermarket chain. Regarding debt, the group confirmed once again that it had managed to reduce it to 2295 million, about 900 million euros less than the previous year and the lowest level in the last 15 years.

the Mutua Madrilene’s takeover of 8% of the capital He was one of the biggest promoters of debt reduction. The entry to the capital takes place in 2022 and also includes the sale of 50.01% of the insurance division of El Corte Inglés to its new partner. The value of the operation was about 1100 million. On the board of directors last year, he sat for the first time as director and president of Mutua MadrileñaIgnacio Garalda.

Being an unlisted company, El Corte Inglés profits are distributed to a limited number of shareholders: Fundación Ramón Areces (40.04%), Cartera de Valores IASA (controlled by sisters Cristina and Marta Álvarez Guil, with 18.40%), Corporación Ceslar (9.64%), Cartera (8.04%). ). The two directors whose positions have been renewed—Paloma García Peña and Carlota Areces—represent Mancur and Ceslar, respectively.

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