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Net sales

Net sales in 2019 amounted to € 19.2 billion, a decrease of 4.5% compared to last year (2018: € 20.1 billion). Adjusted for currency translation effects, sales decreased by 2.8%. The devaluation of, amongst others, the Argentina peso, the Turkish lira, the Brazilian real and the Venezuelan bolivar against the euro caused a negative effect on sales of € 300 million.

Income from operations

Income from operations of € 305 million, decreased with € 308 million compared to 2018 (€ 613 million) significantly impacted by the deconsolidation of Dyas and exceptional items (2019: € 236 million, 2018: € 27 million) primarily as a result of the Cesta Basica tax claims, reorganisations across the Groups and the decision to sell and rent-out Makro stores outside the State of São Paulo. Adjusted for exceptional items, income from operations was € 541 million (2018: € 640 million). This decrease is mainly caused by lower operational performance in various Groups.

Equity of the Group

At the end of 2019, SHV's Group equity amounted to € 6.5 billion (2018: € 6.3 billion). During the year, an accounting error was identified at Nutreco. In previous years, inventories were incorrectly reported with a total impact on shareholders' equity of € 83.3 million negative as per 31 December 2018. The total positive effect of converting shareholders’ equity in local currencies into euro amounted to € 28 million. Total liquidity amounted to € 1,007 million, and the net debt position ended up at € 519 million. The return on shareholders’ equity was 7% (2018: 8%).