In 2015, we took another step in consolidating a business which I believe to be a model for profitable and sustainable growth. Despite the challenging economic environment, the DIA Group once again played a leading role in the international retail sector with its winning combination of neighbourhood shopping, multi-format retailing and innovation.
I would like to start by thanking our teams for their excellent work. It is they who make the DIA Group a company of tomorrow. Thanks also to our 3,500 franchisees for their customer know-how and magnificent contribution to nurturing the local business environment. And thanks to our more than 40 million customers worldwide for shopping with us.
Topline growth accelerated in 2015: revenue rose by 13.9% to €10.55 billion, thanks to successful integration of the recent acquisitions and exponential development of our emerging market store networks. In Spain & Portugal, revenue rose by 10.5% to €6.74 billion, while the emerging markets–Argentina, Brazil and China–registered topline growth of 20% to €3.81 billion. I would like to highlight the recovery in same-stores sales growth, particularly in the last quarter, when this sector metric rose in both the Iberia and the emerging markets segments.
In 2015, we delivered our guidance for EBITDA growth thanks to healthy earnings in Spain and Portugal, where we defended our strong margins under the umbrella of our DIA banner, while innovating with the Clarel format and further developing our supermarket network. Margins in Brazil, Argentina and China improved significantly despite challenging market conditions, with all three markets making a positive contribution.
The rollout of new formats and the development of our private-label brands evidence once again the company”s commitment to innovation and value creation. 2015 was the year of La Plaza de DIA, the group”s newest supermarkets which combine the best of each of our brands but place the spotlight on fresh products. Thanks to our teams” outstanding work, in just half a year we were able to transform the stores acquired from Eroski over to this format: at year-end, more than 100 establishments in Spain were offering a broad range of over 6,000 private-label and name-brand SKUs at stores under this new banner.
We also worked hard to fine-tune our dedicated household and personal care (HPC) chain, Clarel, which now boasts more than 1,000 establishments. In close collaboration with our suppliers, last year we were able to launch over 750 new SKUs under our private-label brands in the HPC segment: Bonté, BabySmile, Junior Smile, Basic Cosmetics and AS.
The ability to share know-how and create synergies across the various formats also drove improvements at our suburban store formats. Currently there are over 130 DIA Maxi stores in Spain equipped with manned fresh product counters and dedicated personal care sections. This concept has also gone cross-border to Portugal where a new banner, Minipreço Family, has come into being.
It would be remiss of me not to highlight the excellent work performed by our franchisees all over the world. 2015 was a record year for new franchise openings, with over 600 new stores added to this regime to bring the total to 3,697. These entrepreneurs” local market know-how and their ability to shake up the business landscape by supporting over 24,000 jobs make them our company”s best ambassadors.
The new sales channels coupled with our strategic focus on omni-channel retailing is honing our strategy of being close to our customers in the broadest sense. Expansion of the online platform in Spain, the rollout of www.clarel.es, the development of the flash opportunities portal, the launch of e-commerce in Shanghai and a new presence in the T-Mall platform throughout all of China are just a few examples of this strategy.
Our shareholder commitment is clear-cut. Since the DIA Group went public, we have outperformed our guidance for double-digit growth in earnings per share in 2012-2015 by over 40%. During this same period, we have earmarked over €800 million to shareholder remuneration, which is equivalent to one-quarter of our current market cap.
Now is the best time to reinforce our profitable growth pledge. Against this backdrop, the company”s guidance for 2016-2018 calls for compound annual organic revenue growth of 7% and accumulated operating cash flow generation of €750 million.