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GRI 201

Economic Performance

The long-term business success of the REWE Group is based on a cooperative structure that has given life to such company values as solidarity, unity and sustainability. The cooperative philosophy, the management culture that has arisen from it and the related long-term, cross-generational direction of the company create security and stability for all stakeholders, extending from members and employees to customers, suppliers and the entire socio-economic environment. For this reason, the Supervisory Board, shareholders, retailers and the Management Board of the REWE Group consider the long-range cooperative structure to be a guarantee of independence and self-determination.

GRI 201: Economic performance

Management approach


The REWE Group is determined to generate long-term business success and to conduct its business activities in an environmentally and social conscious manner. This principle is spelled out in the Guidelines on Sustainable Business Practices that apply to all employees and contract partners of REWE Group. In the guidelines, the company expresses its determination to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by business processes, use renewable energy sources and conserve natural resources, among other actions. By developing socially and environmentally acceptable products and services as well as expanding its more sustainable product range, the company is also helping to minimise the negative impacts created by its business operations.

Sustainable finance

In 2021, the REWE Group obtained its first line of credit based on the ESG rating of the ISS ESG rating agency. It comprises a volume of 750 million euros and has an 18-month term. It may also be extended for 12 months. By arranging for this line of credit, the REWE Group has expanded its sustainability strategy to the financial sector – because the line of credit is tied to such sustainability factors as labour standards, climate protection and environmental and socially beneficial products. The REWE Group has received a grade of “C+” from ISS ESG. This corresponds to the prime level. The company’s transparency level has been rated very high. The ESG rating will be reviewed annually throughout the life of the line of credit.

As a way of underscoring its commitment to sustainability in the finance sector, the REWE Group was represented by its Head of Finance on the German government’s Sustainable Finance Board of Advisers during the 19th legislative period. This board is made up of representatives from finance and business, civil society and the scientific community. It advises the German government regarding the development and implementation of its sustainable finance strategy.

GRI 201-1:

Direct economic value venerated and distributed

In 2021, REWE Group’s total external revenue increased to 76.5 billion euros. REWE Group’s revenue – excluding independent retailers and companies accounted for at equity – grew by 2.5 per cent from 67.7 billion euros to 69.4 billion euros adjusted for exchange rate effects (for more information, see the Combined Management Report for business year 2019 starting on page 15).

The easing of coronavirus-related travel restrictions triggered a market recovery in the Travel and Tourism business segment. As a result, revenue rose sharply, climbing from 1.3 billion euros in 2020 to 2.0 billion euros in 2021.

By contrast, the DIY Store business segment experienced an 11.5 per cent drop in revenue. As a result, it was unable to maintain the revenue level it reached during the previous year (increase in revenue in 2020: 19.9 per cent). The decrease was chiefly fuelled by the significant rise in demand for DIY and garden products as a result of coronavirus restrictions. The coronavirus-related “lockdown” had a negative impact on revenue because DIY stores were closed for a period of time at the beginning of 2021 and were subject to tremendous restrictions on operations.

Revenue performance

in million € 2021 2020 Change absolute Change in per cent
Trade Germany 35,030.2 34,737.5 292.7 0.8
Trade International 15,653.0 15,299.1 353.9 2.3
Convenience 13,659.9 13,083.8 576.1 4.4
DIY Stores 2,352.2 2,656.3 -304.1 -11.5
Travel and Tourism 2,041.8 1,296.2 745.6 57.5
Other 618.8 578.4 40.4 7.0
Total 69,355.9 67,651.3 1,704.6 2.5

Key earnings figures

in million € 2021 2020 Change absolute Change in per cent
Revenue 69,355.9 68,229.3 1,704.6 2.5
Cost of materials including changes in inventory -54,083.2 -52,850.6 -1,650.5 3.1
Gross profit 15,272.7 15,378.7 54.1 0.4
Gross profit ratio 22.0 % 22.5 %
EBITDA 4,388.1 4,368.2 79.7 1.8
Depreciation/amortisation and impairments (excluding goodwill) -2,899.6 -3,145.7 184.3 6.0
EBITA 1,488.5 1,222.5 264.0 21.6
For information only: internal EBITA 1,052.3 1,012.7 39.6 3.9
Goodwill impairments 0.0 -2.6 2.6 100.0
EBIT 1,488.5 1,219.9 266.6 21.8
Financial result -385.3 -493.1 101.9 20.9
EBT 1,103.2 726.8 368.5 50.2
Taxes on income -310.6 -281.3 -30.4 -10.8
Results from continuing operations 792.6 445.5 338.1 74.4
Results from discontinued operations -37.0 -30.2 2.2 5.6
EAT/net income 755.6 415.3 340.3 81.9

GRI 201-3:

Defined benefit plan obligations and other retirement plans

REWE Group pension fund

As a result of demographic change, retirement planning is becoming increasingly important. The REWE Group understands this need. Through its REWE Group Pension Fund, it provides employees with a company pension scheme that is designed especially with the needs of retail workers in mind.

In addition to providing funds to pensioners, the REWE Group Pension Fund pays benefits in cases of invalidity and death. Membership in the fund may be continued if an employee leaves the company. The REWE Group assumes liability for the funds paid into the system and supports employees by making a fixed payment of up to 300 euros each year into the fund for them. The company provides a supplement of up to 15 per cent to employees’ own contributions. REWE International AG offers a similar programme in Austria.

REWE Group voluntary pension benefits

The benefits of the German government’s basic pension scheme are limited to the so-called pension contribution assessment ceiling. The need to have a supplementary retirement plan is particularly high for employees with incomes that exceed this ceiling because the difference between their final salary and the highest basic pension entitlement can be very high. To address the needs of this target group, the REWE Group offers its own retirement plan model called REWE Group Voluntary Pension Benefits. The key benefit is the option that enables employees to make tax-free contributions through deferred payments. Starting on 01/01/2022, employees who earn an income below the pension contribution assessment ceiling are eligible to participate in the REWE Group Voluntary Pension Benefits. The requirement for participation is that an employee has already made the maximum tax-free and social-insurance-free contribution to the REWE Group Pension Fund and wants to make even more tax-free and social-insurance-free contributions into the company pension scheme. Some retirement schemes are also offered outside Germany because national social-insurance and tax laws set the conditions for company pension plans.

Historic retirement planning models

In addition to the retirement planning models described above, the contribution- and benefit-oriented commitments of employees from companies acquired in the past are being continued. They are also included in pension liabilities in the Annual Report.

In 2021, the fair value of the defined benefit obligation (DBO) totalled 1,240.2 million euros (in addition to 235.6 million euros for pension-like obligations; 2020: 1,270.5 million euros and 261.5 million euros). More information can be found in the Group Management Report for business year 2021 starting on page 136.

Other benefits

Other employee benefits involve voluntary special payments that exceed requirements of collective bargaining agreements and voluntary social benefits like survivor benefits and retirement allowances. The volume of these benefits is found in pension-like obligations.

Voluntary special payments that exceed requirements of collective bargaining agreements by sales line, in euros

Sales line Year Euro
Trade Germany 2019 62,693,400
2020 65,196,148
2021 73,636,246
Trade International (Austria)1 2019 -
2020 -
2021 -
Convenience 2019 106,477
2020 214,620
2021 705,038
Travel and Tourism 2019 234,000
2020 212,000
2021 198,000
DIY Stores 2019 2,758,171
2020 2,758,635
2021 2,895,940
Other 2019 7,781,263
2020 8,245,782
2021 8,644,030
Total (scope of the Sustainability Report) 2019 73,573,310
2020 76,627,185
2021 86,079,254
Holiday pay and the Christmas bonus (known as remuneration for the 13th and 14th months of the year) are covered by collective bargaining agreements in Austria. They do not constitute add-ons as a result.

Company retirement scheme by sales line, in euros

Sales line Year Share of participants in the company retirement scheme (of all eligible employees) in % Contributions to the company retirement scheme (employee + employer) in euros
Trade Germany 2019 18.5 44,178,609
2020 17.2 42,298,170
2021 17.2 46,711,792
Trade International (Austria)1 2019 5.3 661,800
2020 5.2 655,800
2021 5.5 677,100
Convenience 2019 9.5 137,747
2020 35.8 1,885,645
2021 35.2 2,553,569
Travel and Tourism 2019 58.2 5,182,000
2020 63.7 4,615,000
2021 66.7 4,364,000
DIY Stores 2019 23.9 4,250,087
2020 20.6 4,262,740
2021 20.6 4,898,343
Other 2019 38.5 7,184,973
2020 36.0 6,671,908
2021 40.8 7,433,568
Total (scope of the Sustainability Report) 2019 17.6 61,595,216
2020 16.7 60,389,263
2021 16.8 66,638,371
Austria has had a company retirement scheme for employees since September 2010. The company pension for managers in Austria is not included in the table.
GRI 102-48: Since financial year 2020, other investment forms of company retirement planning (direct insurance and support fund) have been considered in addition to the pension fund and voluntary pension benefits. Data has been adjusted retroactively and no longer agrees with the data used in the Sustainability Report 2019 as a result.