Total net sales break down by segment as follows:
In the third quarter of 2021, we saw strong recovery in virtually all customer segments of our sales markets. While corporate catering, the event industry and healthcare still lagged behind, we are seeing some gradual recovery there as well. Both in the Netherlands and Belgium, we have a relatively strong position in these customer segments.
Where tobacco sales rose sharply last year, we saw a €36 million drop in tobacco sales over the first three quarters of this year, partly due to changes in legislation.
Developments in net sales in other customer segments partly make up for this. Moreover, this net sales development is increasingly reinforced by our new platform of one order, one delivery, and one invoice that we run in collaboration with our partner Heineken.
Once the final remaining restrictions are lifted, our sales will bounce back to close to pre-COVID levels.
Over the first nine months of this year, net sales declined by 26% from the pre-COVID levels. In the third quarter, this decline levelled out somewhat to 10%.
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