Jerónimo Martins will “challenge in court” a fine of 26 million in Poland

"Jerónimo Martins Polska (JMP) disagrees with the understanding and conclusion of the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (UOKiK) and will challenge the decision in court," said the company.

Jerónimo Martins, owner of Pingo Doce, will “judicially challenge” the fine of 26 million euros, which was applied to the supermarket chain it owns in Poland, Biedronka, the group's official source told Lusa.

"Jerónimo Martins Polska (JMP) disagrees with the understanding and conclusion of the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (UOKiK) and will challenge the decision in court," said the company.

At issue are alleged practices, according to UOKiK, of “incorrect pricing” to customers, which led to several complaints against the company.

According to this organization, the prices advertised on the shelves did not correspond to those that were later charged on the box, which ended up being higher, read in a statement released today, which indicates that these practices date back at least to 2016.

In addition, UOKiK reported that several products were priceless and gave examples of consumers who felt harmed.

Jerónimo Martins disagrees and explains the discrepancies with the “Biedronka scale of operations”, which has in that country “more than three thousand stores, around 70 thousand employees and more than four billion customer visits between 2017 and 2020” , according to the response sent to Lusa.

"There is always the possibility that, due to human error, some prices are missing or misplaced," said the same source.

“The company has taken robust measures, and above market practices, to reduce these occasional errors, and these measures have already taken effect. We remain firm in our strategy of providing quality products at low prices every day, creating value and supporting Polish families and the production and manufacture of food in Poland, especially in these difficult times ”, said the Portuguese group.

Jerónimo Martins' profit fell 36,2% in the first half, compared to the same period in 2019, to 104 million euros, the group announced on 29 July.

In a statement sent to the Securities Market Commission (CMVM), the company said that sales rose 4,6% to 9.317 million euros, driven by Biedronka.

“Biedronka's strong performance more than compensated for the drop in sales in Portugal and the pressure of the devaluation of the zloty and the Colombian peso”, reads the statement.

In the first half, Biedronka's sales grew 7,8% to 6.536 million euros, of which 3,3 billion euros were made in the second quarter (+ 3,4% than in the same period of 2019).

"In the six-month period, Biedronka opened 34 new locations (29 net additions) and carried out 71 renovations," said the group.

"Although the work to start building new stores was suspended at the beginning of the pandemic crisis, Biedronka completed all the projects it had already started and started, from the end of May, to advance the projects in its portfolio," he added. .

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