2019-20 half year earnings, Group positioned to weather the crisis
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 7:27 PM
Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, France, April 29, 2020
Groupe Beneteau has started production up again at three sites since April 27 and plans to gradually resume operations at all industrial facilities by mid-May. The Boat and Housing divisions have recorded relatively low levels of order cancellations to date, and they mainly concern deferrals to the next financial year. However, the Group does not have sufficient visibility to date to measure how the suspension of its production activities will impact the accounts for this financial year.
Groupe Beneteau has a number of assets which, during this crisis period, represent major competitive advantages:
A diversified and balanced portfolio of activities;
Positions as a world leader for monohull and multihull sailboats and European leader on the segments for 30 to 60-foot inboard and outboard motorboats, as well as for leisure homes;
Very robust financial position, with €609 million of equity at February 29, 2020 and over €300 million of credit lines already in place and currently being confirmed, which will be supplemented with a €120 million government-backed loan. Faced with this crisis following the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to remember certain points in order to put the half-year accounts at February 29, 2020 into perspective. Looking beyond the usual seasonality for the business (the first half of the year accounts for just 35% to 40% of the Group’s revenues and the bulk of earnings are generated in the second half of the year), Groupe Beneteau, like many companies, has faced a shutdown of its production operations since March as a result of the measures rolled out by the public authorities in many countries worldwide to fight the spread of Covid-19. This event occurred following the end of the first half of the financial year and its impacts will be seen in the accounts for the second half of the year.
The Boat Division
For the first half of 2019-20, the Boat division recorded revenues of €422.2 million, up 4.6% year-on-year (+3.6% at constant exchange rates).
This division’s growth is being supported by fleet sales, which represented 25% of first-half revenues and are driving demand for mono and multihull sailing models. On the European markets, all the segments, with the exception of monohull sailing (due to an unfavorable base effect), show growth. In North and Central America, sales were affected at the start of the half-year period by a destocking throughout the market. While sales for the Jeanneau and Beneteau brands on this continent are up, this is not the case for the American brands, which have continued to fall. Markets in other regions around the world (Asia-Pacific, South America, Rest of World) recorded low levels of activity, with sales representing less than 8% of first-half revenues. Buoyed by growth in fleet sales for charter firms, the percentage of sailboats is up 3.5 points to 53.5% of Boat division revenues, compared with 46.5% for motorboats. Affected by non-recurring items and the increase in depreciation, the Boat division’s income from ordinary operations came to -€18.1 million, compared with -€11 million the previous year.
New strategic outlook
Groupe Beneteau had set out to reinvent itself and was due to present its new strategic outlook this week. The current crisis and its immediate repercussions for the global economy will result in a deep transformation of its markets and its industry. This crisis therefore represents a catalyst to move more quickly and go further. Groupe Beneteau is already working on a new strategic plan that is based on strongly adapting its products and industrial organization in line with future markets, while reformulating the role that it aims to play in the world of recreational boats and leisure homes.
A first look at this new strategic plan will be presented on July 9, 2020 when the Group reports its revenues for the first nine months of FY 2019-20.