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Aix-en-Provence, 20 July 2021 (6.00 p.m.)
HIGHCO: Q2 GROWTH AT THE HIGH END OF THE FORECAST RANGE
(GP: UP 8.1%); SHARP GROWTH ESTIMATED IN HALF-YEAR EARNINGS
8.1% business growth in Q2 2021
Q2 2021 gross profit1 of €19.21 M, up 8.1% on a reported basis and LFL2.
H1 2021 gross profit1 of €37.8 M, up 5.1% on a reported basis and LFL2.
Digital businesses grew slightly (Q2 up 0.8% LFL; H1 up 1.5% LFL) with a very favourable comparative base for offline businesses (Q2 up 25.5% LFL; H1 up 12.2% LFL).
Healthy business in France (Q2 up 5.4% LFL; H1 up 4.9% LFL) and strong recovery in International businesses (Q2 up 27.8% LFL; H1 up 5.9% LFL).
2021 Half-year Earnings: Strong growth expected in adjusted headline PBIT3 and adjusted operating margin3
2021 guidance confirmed
Gross Profit (in € M)1
1 Limited audit by the Statutory Auditors currently in progress.
2 Like for like: Based on a comparable scope and at constant exchange rates (i.e. applying the average exchange rate over the period to data from the compared period).
Furthermore, in application of IFRS 5 – Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations, Shelf Service businesses were reported as discontinued operations as of the fourth quarter of 2020. For reasons of consistency, the data reported for the first six months of 2020 has been restated to account for the impact of Shelf Service. As a result, like-for-like data is equal to restated data in H1 2020.
3 Adjusted headline profit before interest and tax: Recurring operating income before restructuring costs and excluding the cost of performance share plans. Adjusted operating margin: Adjusted headline PBIT/Gross profit.
Didier Chabassieu, Chairman of the Management Board, stated, “With 8.1% growth, HighCo’s gross profit comes in at the high end of the forecast range, enabling the Group to achieve a healthy second quarter. This good performance is mainly due to the double-digit growth in mobile businesses and the very sharp rise in the number of coupons cleared in France. The Group’s business in Belgium also rebounded sharply in the second quarter. Based on this growth, HighCo expects strong increase in half-year earnings and is moving forward in its innovation strategy, which is mainly driven by its startup studio HighCo Venturi.”
8.1% BUSINESS GROWTH IN Q2 2021
After a healthy Q1 2021 (up 2.2% like for like), HighCo confirms its return to growth in Q2 2021 and posts an 8.1% increase in gross profit to €19.21 M, at the high end of the forecast range (growth between 6% and 8%).
As expected, this good performance is mainly driven by:
Double-digit growth in Mobile businesses (up 14.7%);
A very significant increase in the number of coupons cleared in France, which has more than doubled, including paperless (up 39%);
A strong business recovery in Belgium (up 30.2%).
Digital businesses remained stable in Q2 2021 (up 0.8%) despite a less favourable comparative base, while offline businesses posted a strong recovery with growth of 25.5%.
As a result, the Group’s businesses rose 5.1% in H1 2021 to €37.8 M. Digital business, up 1.5% in the first half of the year, was driven by Mobile activities (up 7.3%). Digital accounts for 64.3% of HighCo’s total business.
Group revenue for H1 2021 came out at €69.2 M.
France: healthy business
Gross Profit (in € M)
% Total gross profit
In France, after a good Q1, gross profit in Q2 2021 showed growth of 5.4% to €16.5 M. This growth was mainly driven by the good performance of Mobile businesses (double-digit growth in gross profit) and the very strong increase in the number of coupons cleared (volumes cleared higher than the pre-COVID levels in Q2 2019).
H1 2021 was up 4.9%, with France accounting for 85.9% of the Group’s gross profit in the first half of the year. Digital businesses rose slightly by 0.8%, and their share represented 64.7% of gross profit. This growth, limited by a less favourable comparative base (H1 2020), is mainly driven by the sharp increase in digital coupon issuance, especially on Click & Collect websites (up 28%). Furthermore the number of coupons cleared using paperless systems rose significantly over the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2020 (up 50%).
International: strong business recovery
Gross Profit (in € M)
% Total gross profit
International gross profit rose sharply in Q2 2021, by 27.8% like for like to €2.71 M. As expected, this business growth was driven by the strong recovery in Belgium (up 30.2%), where Digital business grew 33.1% and now accounts for 58.8% of gross profit. Business in other countries also showed growth (up 8.2%).
For the first half of 2021, International business therefore rose 5.9% to €5.32 M, accounting for 14.1% of the Group’s gross profit.
H1 2021 EARNINGS SHOWING STRONG GROWTH
Based on the 2021 half-year closing in progress, the Group forecasts:
An increase in adjusted headline PBIT3 of more than 20% (H1 2020 restated for the sale of Shelf Service: €7.65 M);
A strong rise in adjusted operating margin3 (H1 2020 restated for the sale of Shelf Service: 21.3%).
The 2021 half-year earnings will be released on Wednesday, 25 August after market close. A conference call with analysts will take place on Thursday, 26 August.
2021 GUIDANCE CONFIRMED
Based on the good performance reported in Q2 2021 and the expected strong growth in half-year earnings, the Group has confirmed its guidance for 2021:
A return to growth in gross profit (2020 gross profit: €74.16 M);
Rise in adjusted operating margin3 (adjusted headline PBIT/gross profit) to more than 17% (2020 adjusted operating margin: 16.4%).
As an expert in data marketing and communication, HighCo continuously innovates to work with brands and retailers in meeting the retail challenges of tomorrow.
Listed in compartment C of Euronext Paris, and eligible for SME equity savings plans (“PEA-PME”), HighCo has nearly 600 employees and since 2010 has been included in the Gaia Index, a selection of 70 responsible Small and Mid Caps.
Cécile Collina-Hue Cynthia Lerat
Managing Director Press Relations
+33 1 77 75 65 06 +33 1 77 75 65 16
Publications take place after market close.
2021 Half-year Earnings: Wednesday, 25 August 2021
Conference call on 2021 half-year earnings: Thursday, 26 August 2021 (11.00 a.m. CET)
Q3 and 9-month YTD 2021 Gross Profit: Wednesday, 20 October 2021
Q4 and FY 2021 Gross Profit: Wednesday, 19 January 2022
HighCo is a component stock of the indices CAC® Small (CACS), CAC® Mid&Small (CACMS), CAC® All-Tradable (CACT), Euronext® Tech Croissance (FRTPR) and Enternext® PEA-PME 150 (ENPME).
Bloomberg: HCO FP
For further financial information and press releases, go to www.highco.com.
This English translation is for the convenience of English-speaking readers. Consequently, the translation may not be relied upon to sustain any legal claim, nor should it be used as the basis of any legal opinion. HighCo expressly disclaims all liability for any inaccuracy herein.