Lesquin, 25 January 2021 17:45hrs
Cumulative 9 month Sales 2020/21: 223.1 M€ (+ 5%)
Q3 Sales showing growth hallmarked by:
·the further momentum of Nacon Gaming
·The limited impact of the 2 nd lockdown in Audio/Telco
IFRS – M€
2nd Quarter (July, Aug., Sept.)
3rd Quarter (October, Nov., Dec.) (1)
Cumulative 9 month (Apr-Dec 2020)
(1) Non audited data
Sales up 2.3% in Q3 2020/21
In Q3 2020/2021 (from October 1 to December 31, 2020), Bigben posted 87.3 M€ sales up 2.3%, driven by the momentum of Nacon Gaming, while the recovery of Audio/Telco was slowed down by the 2nd lockdown.
Games : Due to Q3 publishing releases limited to two new games targetting profitable but narrow niches (Monster Truck®, Handball 21), sales were down by 19.7%. The share of digital sales continues to grow and represents 74.4% of quarterly sales. The contribution of the back catalogue(2), a source of high margins, is up very sharply to 6.9 M€ (+ 216% compared to Q3 2019/20).
Accessories : Accessories continued their strong growth with 32.5 M€ sales up 58.7%, thanks to the growing success of RIG® headsets and sustained sales of Nacon accessories, particularly of licensed controllers and headsets.
Sales in Q3 2020/21 dropped by 13.9% to 38.7 M€. Business was impacted by a second lockdown in autumn 2020, which saw the closure of Audio shelfspaces and a drop of store traffic in Telco shops. On the other hand, margins recovered with the Audio/Telco product mix being more favourable to the Group's premium brands.
Mobile: Over the period, sales of mobile accessories fell by 14.8% to 26.0 M€. The significant increase in sales of the Force, Just Green® and Bigben® ranges, combined with the release of four new iPhone 12’s and the successful launch of TWS wireless headphones, helped to cushion the impact of the market.
Audio: In the third quarter, the Audio ranges recorded an overall drop in sales of 12.7% to 12.6 M€. Listings in 600 points of sale in the new "trendy" decoration and wellness channels, as well as the recurring success of Lumin'Us and Bigben Party products, partly offset the decline in this business.
Cumulative 9-month sales up by 5%
Over the first nine months of the 2020/21 financial year (1 April to 31 December 2020), Bigben's sales amounted to 223.1 M€, an increase of 5.0% compared to the first nine months of the previous year. This rise was driven by the strong growth of Nacon Gaming, while the Bigben Audio/Telco business showed its resilience in the current health context.
The CSR(3) commitment remains a significant challenge for the Bigben Group, which has been moving towards more socially responsible management for several years now. Thus, a teleworking agreement was signed in the summer of 2020 in the Group's main companies, the eco-designed Just Green® range combines ecology with economy, while all the Group's own Audio/Telco ranges and the new Gaming accessory ranges now have "zero plastic" packaging. The Group intends to continue its efforts in this area.
Bigben anticipates a more dynamic Q4 2020/21 supported by strong growth at Nacon Gaming. The Group also intends to continue the commercial relaunch of Audio/Telco, which remains sensitive to the impact of the health crisis in the retail sector.
Nacon is again anticipating growth in Q4 2020/21 thanks to:
the highly anticipated release of Werewolf® : the Apocalypse - Earthblood, and the release of PlayStation®5 / Xbox Series X|S versions of Monster Truck®, Tennis World Tour®2 and Hunting Simulator® 2 ;
contributions from digital sales and the back catalogue(2);
the order book for RIG® headphones, which remains high;
the release of the first accessories dedicated to the new Xbox Series X|S console.
At the same time, the release of Blood Bowl® III, the first game in the catalogue to feature the live ops(4) model, has been postponed to the first half of 2021/22 in order to optimise its quality, satisfy this franchise’s large community and maximise the title's commercial potential. Despite this postponement, Nacon is confident that it will achieve its annual targets(5).
Nacon has also just announced the signature of an exclusive agreement for the acquisition in full of its 10th studio, the Australian company Big Ant, an expert developer of individual and team sports games (tennis, rugby, cricket, etc.). This transaction considerably strengthens this mainstay of Nacon's portfolio by giving it exclusive access to Big Ant's productions in this strategic segment.
In a context of low visibility, Audio/Telco presents a good outlook for its Q4 2020/21 sales after an encouraging start at the beginning of 2021:
Mobile: the release of 3 new Galaxy Samsung S21 phones a month earlier than expected and the removal of the original chargers for the latest premium smartphones should have a positive effect on sales of the Bigben® Energy, Force Power® and Just Green® accessory ranges. Sales of TWS Bigben® wireless headphones should continue to grow. The arrival of 5G networks will create a new wave of demand for premium equipment as from the next financial year 2021/22.
Audio: During the last FY 2020/21 quarter, Bigben will increase the presence of the Thomson® range in retail outlets and will continue to deliver its "decoration and well-being" products to the 600 points of sale recently referenced.
Annual targets and BIGBEN 2023 Plan confirmed
The Group reiterates its 2020/21 sales target of between 270 M€ and 290 M€, with a current operating margin(6) exceeding 12%, driven by Nacon Gaming publishing and a higher value-added product mix in Audio/Telco.
The Group also reiterates the financial targets of its BIGBEN 2023 strategic plan, with sales of 350 M€ for the 2022/23 financial year and a current operating margin(6) of 13%, the latest could be revised upwards when the annual results are published on 31 May 2021.
As approved at the Ordinary General Meeting on December 11, 2020 by Bigben Interactive Shareholders, Bigben Interactive continues to explore conditions for the issuance of bonds, which could be exchanged for existing shares of a subsidiary of Bigben Interactive. The timing of any transaction would be subject to market conditions and in line with the Group’s strategy to remain a long-term strategic holder of any subsidiaries.
(2) Back catalogue = games released in previous fiscal years
(3) CSR = Corporate Social Responsibility
(4) Live-ops = Extension of the game's commercial life after its launch via animations and micro-transactions.
(5) Nacon press release on 25 January 2021
(6) COI rate = Current Operating Income as a percentage of sales = Current Operating Margin
Q4 2020/21 sales: 26 April 2021
Press release after close of the Paris stock exchange