The German-based ANWR Group maintained its overall invoiced purchasing volume virtually stable at €17,845 billion in 2020, compared with €17,804 million a year earlier, thanks to growth at its financial services business which offset a decline in retailing caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sales for the footwear business fell by 20.1 percent to €1,233 million and leather goods volumes dropped by 36.0 percent to €68.5 million, while the sports segment grew by 1.1 percent to €1,287 million. The total invoiced purchasing volume for the affiliated retailers amounted to €2.6 million across all product categories, 11.5 percent down on the previous year.

Revenues from financial services grew to €15,256 million from €14,881 million. The purchasing volumes handled ANWR’s own banks - DZB Bank and Aktivbank - for third parties grew by 5.1 percent to €13.8 billion, as retail cooperatives in the building materials, wood, furniture, automotive, plumbing, heating and bicycle sectors were less affected by Covid-related restrictions. Both banks also benefited from guarantees offered by the Federal Association of German Cooperative Banks (BVR).

On the other hand, the ANWR Group reported a 4.1 percent decline to €630.8 million from commissions related to the centralized settlements for its affiliated shoe and leathergoods retailers, although its e-commerce platform performed well. The group booked an extraordinary gain which came from the sale of a property in Düsseldorf, resulting in a pre-tax profit of €69.9 million for the year, compared with €4.6 million in 2019. The year end profit stood at €40.1 million against €1.0 million. A dividend payout of 10 percent is being proposed for the holders of cooperative shares.

ANWR expects to meet ongoing challenges for the affiliated brick-and-mortar retailers by arranging or providing financing, intensive consulting and training and management tools, including stock management solutions and e-commerce platforms.