It is expected that by the end of November Mercator will be transferred to the Forten group system.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forten Group Maxim Poletaev In a conversation on today's Vecernie List, the plan to transfer Mercator's shares to Forthnet has been agreed with the Slovenian government. This is expected to happen by the end of November, as they have to carry out some formal procedures.
Fortenova recalled that Mercator's group successfully concluded a program for the sale of over-real estate and debt reduction last year, which resulted in a contraction of the debt to EBITDA ratio from 9.4 years to 2017 to 7.2 last year. Mercator's EBITDA increased by more than 17% at the end of last year, but it was not related to the sale of real estate. This year they intend to reduce Mercator's EBITDA ratio to below five, he said.
Among other things, he said last year, Konzum and Mercator increased profitability not only compared to 2017, which was not representative, but also in terms of 2016.
According to him, Mercator's profitability has doubled. While Mercator has not deteriorated its position on the Slovenian market, Serbia's business is developing. According to Polation, Mercury Serbia's liquidity improvement plan was drawn up.
Čizmić: Transfer to Forten is our priority
Chairman of the board of Mercator Tomislav Cizmich in a written statement recalled that the Mercator Group managed to significantly increase efficiency and profitability in a very short time. "I am pleased that Fortenova's leadership recognizes a great positive development in the Mercator Group, especially in Slovenia and Serbia, which we have been able to create over the past two years" He added that Mercator has many opportunities for development and growth. "These are our priorities for the future, the first being the transfer of Mercator to Fortunovo."
Regarding the profitability of Konzum, Poletajev said it has increased by 4.5 times, despite the decline in revenue by more than ten percent. The Croatian trader lost his market share in Croatia in 2017 and partly renewed it last year, said Forten's first husband.
However, he did not explain whether Russian Sberbank, the largest owner of Forten Group, will sell its stake next year. In his words, they are trying to stabilize Fortenovo, create a transparent management system and optimize the activity of all the companies in the group in order to achieve the best price and terms of sale.
Poletje expects the General Assembly to discuss the Governing Board's proposal to refinance over £ 1bn overpayment on the basis of offers from the US HPS Investments Fund and the Russian VTB Bank. The new agreement should be valid for four years and interest rates will be reduced from the current 13 to 8.3 per cent.