From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from SONAE)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sonae SGPS, S.A.
TypeStock Corporation
IndustryRetail (food and non-food products), shopping centres, Telecommunications, retail real estate and technology and investment management
Key people
Cláudia Azevedo (CEO), Paulo Azevedo (Chairman)
ProductsHypermarkets; supermarkets; convenience stores; shops of proximity; restaurants; drugstores, bookstores; apparel; sports; consumer electronics; aesthetic and dental medicine clinics; insurance plans; credit cards; shopping centres; credit cards; real estate management; [inancial services; telecommunications; software; information and media systems.
Revenue€5.710 billion (2017)[1]
€166 million (2017)[2]
Number of employees
53,794 (2019)[3]
SubsidiariesSonae MC, Sonae S&F, Worten, Sonae RP, Sonae FS, Sonae IM, Sonae Sierra (70%), NOS (23.4%)

Sonae is a multinational business group based in Maia, Porto District, Portugal. It is present in 90 countries, operating in several sectors, including retail, financial services, shopping centres management, software and information systems, media and telecommunications.[1]

It is the largest private employer in Portugal, with 53,794 employees.[2]

Sonae is listed on the Euronext PSI-20 in Lisbon, under the code SON.[3]

In the first quarter of 2018, Sonae's turnover amounted to 2,680 million euros, with net results in the order of 98 million euros, more 34.2% than the same period last year.[4]


Sonae was founded in 1959 by the entrepreneur, banker and patron from Arouca, Afonso Pinto de Magalhães. The business group originated from the Sociedade Nacional de Estratificados, an industrial company operating in the area of processed wood, more specifically, in the production of decorative high-pressure laminated panels.[5] During the first two decades of existence, Sonae remained as a small to medium-size business company.

Afonso Pinto de Magalhães, also the founder of the Pinto Magalhães Bank, placed Fábio Lemos in control of Sonae in the turbulent years following the Carnation Revolution. During that period, the company was nationalized and then reprivatized.

In 1982, Afonso Pinto de Magalhães gave 16% of Sonae to Belmiro de Azevedo, who had been admitted to Sonae in 1965. After the death of the founder, Belmiro de Azevedo reached the majority of the capital, with 54.6%, taking control of the company.[6]

During the 1980s, Sonae began its fast growth. In 1985, Sonae Investimentos SGPS, S.A. was created and the group entered the Lisbon Stock Exchange.[7] It was also in the early 1980s that Sonae began its business diversification strategy through acquisitions and the creation of new investments.

The group entered into the modern distribution market by opening the first hypermarket in Portugal, "Continente", in Matosinhos. Two years later, Sonae launched seven takeover bids to seven companies, which allowed the business group to grow in various business areas.[8]

In 1993, Sonae Indústria expanded its investments by acquiring a controlling position in Spanish company Tafisa, which allowed the company to extend its business segment. Posteriorly, another important step was taken when Sonae entered into the specialized retail area with the launch of Worten.

In 1998, with Paulo de Azevedo leading the project, Optimus was born.[9] The mobile operator merged with Zon in 2013, giving rise to NOS.

In 2007, Paulo de Azevedo took over the leadership of the Sonae group, succeeding his father, Belmiro de Azevedo.[10]

In March 2015, Belmiro de Azevedo announced his resignation as Sonae chairman. Paulo de Azevedo was chosen as the new chairman and CEO of the Sonae group, sharing the executive committee presidency with Ângelo Paupério, who was the vice president of Sonae until that point.[11]

In 2018, Cláudia Azevedo was elected executive president of Sonae by the biggest shareholder company of the group, the Efanor. Belmiro de Azevedo's daughter started functions in May 2019, replacing the group Co-CEOs, Paulo de Azevedo and Ângelo Paupério.[12]


From 2009, Sonae (Sonae SGPS, S.A.) holds a portfolio of businesses grouped into different business areas, where its subholdings are included:[4]

Core Businesses

  • Sonae MC – Portuguese leader in the area of food retail, with a set of different formats: Continente (hypermarkets), Continente Modelo (supermarkets), Continente Bom Dia (convenience stores), Continente Ice (specialised in deep frozen food), Meu Super (franchising format of close-by stores), Bom Bocado (restaurant services), (bookshop) and Well's (drugstores).[5]
  • Sonae SR – Responsible for Sonae's non-food related retail area, particularly sports, clothing and electronics, through the brands SportZone (sports), MO (textile), Zippy (Kids clothing and accessories), Worten (household appliances, consumer electronics and entertainment), Worten Mobile (mobile telecommunications), Pets&Plants (garden supplies and articles for pets).[5]

Core Partnerships

  • Sonae Sierra – International specialist in shopping centres. Founded in Portugal in 1989, it is owned by Sonae in 50% of the shares. The remaining 50% are owned by Grosvenor Group (United Kingdom)
  • Sonaecom – Partnership in the areas of telecommunications, software, information systems and media, which develops an active role in the integrated management of the business units. The universe of companies that are connected to this area is formed by: NOS[6] (telecommunications), Biztech (commercialization of multi-brand IT solutions), WeDo Technologies (supplier of software solutions) and Saphety (simplified solutions and processes automation). In the media area, Sonaecom also owns Público, a reference daily newspaper.

Related Business

  • Sonae RP – Created in 2009, Sonae Retail Properties is focused on the management and development of its real estate assets as a way to provide support to its retail business growth goals.

Active Investments

  • Investment Management – Business branch responsible for Sonae's mergers and acquisitions. Part of this area are businesses like MDS, Cooper Gay and Herco (in the Insurance sector), Geostar (a travel agency that is a joint-venture with the RAR group) and Maxmat (bricolage in a joint-venture with CRH).

With autonomy since 2007, there is Sonae Capital, presided by Cláudia Azevedo,[7] daughter of Belmiro de Azevedo, with three main business areas:[8]

  • Sonae Turismo: Business developer in the resorts, hotel and fitness areas.
  • Energy: Management of the co-generation centrals and photovoltaic parks.
  • Spread SGPS: Promotions of refrigeration, AVAC and maintenance management and financial participation.


In 2012, Sonae invested more than 70 million Euros in research in the retail sector, in a programme that involved around 3,200 employees. In 2014, Sonae compiled a book with more than 80 innovations developed during 2013, in areas like Health or Technology, many of them with national and international prizes.[9]


In 2013, Sonae gave back to the community 10.6 million Euros of which 5 million were in foodstuffs donations, impacting more than 2,000 institutions.[10] The main intervention areas are: Environmental Awareness, Culture, Education, Health and Sports, Science and Innovation (R&D) and Social Solidarity.[11]


Sonae has received awards and distinctions in a number of areas, having been recognised as one of the Most Ethical Companies in the world,[12] as Human Capital Master[13] and with the ICSC Solal Marketing Awards.[14] According to the latest edition of the Global Powers of Retailing report, carried out by Deloitte and the American magazine Stores, Sonae is one of the 250 largest retailers in the world, positioning itself at 155 place, which is equivalent to an increase of 10 places from the previous ranking.[15] In 2015, Sonae's major retail brands were distinguished as "Trusted Brands", according to the international study carried out for the 15th consecutive year by the Reader's Digest Selections.[16] It is the second most desired company to work by Portuguese university students, according to a survey conducted by Spark Agency and Economics and Management School at Minho University.[17] The company was recognized by Kaizen Institute for its continuous improvement. Continente was honoured with the title "Kaizen Ambassador", for its work carried out in store operations, and Worten was the winner in the "Excellence in Quality" category, for its sales force management project.[18]

Sonae brands (Continente, Worten, Sport Zone, Wells and Zippy) were the most valued by consumers, in the fourth edition of Consumer Choice Awards.[19]

Sonae's shopping centers[edit]


8.ª Avenida | AlbufeiraShopping | AlgarveShopping | Arrabidashopping | Cascaishopping | CC Continente de Portimão | Colombo Centre | Centro Vasco da Gama | CoimbraShopping | Estação Viana Shopping | GaiaShopping | Guimarães Shopping | LeiriaShopping | LoureShopping | Madeira Shopping | MaiaShopping | Norteshopping | Parque Atlântico | RioSul Shopping | Serra Shopping | Via Catarina | Ponte de Lima


Boavista Shopping | Boulevard Londrina Shopping | Franca Shopping | Manauara Shopping | Parque D. Pedro | Passeio das Águas Shopping | Shopping Campo Limpo | Shopping Metrópole | Shopping Plaza Sul | Uberlândia Shopping


Dos mares | GranCasa | La Farga | Luz del Tajo | Max Center | Plaza Mayor | Valle Real | Zubiarte


Freccia Rossa | Gli Orsi | Le Terrazze


Alexa | Hofgarten Solingen | Loop5 | Münster Arkaden


Pantheon Plaza


River Plaza Mall (Râmnicu Vâlcea), Park Lake Plaza (Titan – Bucharest),

In development: Adora Park Lake (Craiova), Shopping Plaza (Ploiești).


BDA Colony, Happy Ghara

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "YSO.LS - Sonae SGPS SA Profile | Reuters". Reuters.
  2. ^ "Sonae Accelerates Growth, with 5% Increase in Food Sales".
  3. ^
  4. ^ Sonae Business Areas – Official Website, consulted on 7 July 2014 (Portuguese)
  5. ^ a b Sonae Brands – Official Website consulted on 14 June 2014 (Portuguese)
  6. ^ ZON/Optimus Merger Archived 9 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Jornal de Negócios, consulted on 12 July 2014 (Portuguese)
  7. ^ Claudia Azevedo assumes presidency of Sonae Capital, Público, published on 18 March 2013 (Portuguese)
  8. ^ Sonae Turismo Presentation Archived 8 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Sonae invests more than 70 million Euros in research, Jornal de Negócios, published on 20 May 2014 (Portuguese)
  10. ^ Sonae gives 10.6 million to the community, Diário de Viseu, published on 17 March 2014 (Portuguese)
  11. ^ Sustainability Approach, Official Website, consulted on 16 July 2014 (Portuguese)
  12. ^ Sonae is one of the “World Most Ethical Companies”, Jornal de Negócios, published on 12 March 2013 (Portuguese)
  13. ^ SONAE SR wins Human Capital Master, Universia, published on 27 March 2014 (Portuguese)
  14. ^ Promofans wins International Recognition, Marketeer Online, published on 19 May 2014 (Portuguese)
  15. ^ Jerónimo Martins and Sonae rise in the largest retailers in the world "ranking", Jornal de Negócios Online, published on 12 January 2015 (Portuguese)
  16. ^ Sonae brands lead Portuguese trust, Grande Consumo Online, published on 13 March 2015 (Portuguese)
  17. ^ Google, Sonae e Deloitte são as empresas preferidas dos estudantes portugueses, Expresso Online, published on 25 May 2015 (Portuguese)
  18. ^ Sonae Scoops Two Excellence Awards, European Supermarket Magazine, published on 6 July 2015 (Portuguese)
  19. ^ Rita Gonçalves (26 November 2015). "Sonae is the big winner of Consumer Choice Awards" (in Portuguese). Hipersuper. Retrieved 22 January 2016.

External links[edit]