Miguel Águas was speaking to journalists at the inauguration of the new Sonae MC Distribution Centre building in Azambuja, which is the largest refrigerated warehouse in Portugal.

Asked about the increase in fuel prices, Miguel Águas said that "obviously […] impacts the costs of transporting goods" for Sonae stores and its competitors.

"We have a lot of confidence and we know that we are especially efficient, in fact, this warehouse brings greater efficiency to the operation and, therefore, we are even more safeguarded, more protected from the impact of this crisis," he added.

"But it is inevitable that there will be cost increases along the chain and, therefore, in the long term, this crisis may lead to the sector as a whole having impacts either on its exploitation account or impact on the cost of the products themselves for consumers", he said.

When asked if the Government should intervene in this matter, Miguel Águas said: "Sonae does not want to interfere in what the Government should or should not do".

However, "we are concerned and, on our side, we will work so that the impact is not felt by customers and, therefore, this investment also serves to respond to efficiency that we have to bring from our side," he added.

Sonae MC has also announced an investment of €50 million in the expansion of the distribution centres of Azambuja, Lisbon, and Maia, in Porto.

Sonae MC has more than 1,000 stores, including Continente, Continente Modelo, Continente Bom Dia, Continente ‘Online’, Meu Super, Go Natural and Bagga.

With regard to logistics, the company has five warehouses, where 2,500 employees work. Every year, 300 million boxes are circulated in these spaces, which are delivered to 1,300 stores in Portugal.