FLAGSHIP department store chain El Corte Inglés has recorded record annual losses for 2020 after being hit by coronavirus lockdowns and the collapse of tourists arriving in Spain.
One of the country’s largest private employers, it posted a net loss of €2.9 billion in the 12 months to the end of February – compared to a net profit of €310 million for the same period a year earlier.
The department store chain’s chiefs announced in February this year planned voluntary redundancies of between 3,000 and 3,500.
El Corte Inglés announced if write-offs totalling €2.5 million were excluded, the net loss would have been a total of €445 million, losses directly attributable to the Covid-19 restrictions, one of the world’s strictest pandemic regimes.
In a statement, the company said: “Most of the provisions derive from the
restatement of assets as a result of the group’s transformation to a more digital business model.”
It said the 2020 trading results were “shaped primarily by the closure of much of business during lockdown and successive restrictions at the regional level; compounded by the total absence of domestic and international tourism.”
Spain’s economy shrank sharply by 10.8% last year, one of the worst performers across the Eurozone. However, the government predicts a 6.5% bounce back this year.