Groupe Beneteau: 2019-2020 earnings and FY 2021 growth forecast
Wednesday, March 17, 2021 6:13 PM
FY 2021 earnings growth forecast in line with the Let’s Go Beyond! strategic plan
2019-2020 earnings: operating income resilient and significant improvement in cash position
Following a year marked by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Groupe Beneteau is moving forward in 2021 with a robust financial position and is seeing the first benefits of the Let’s Go Beyond! plan’s rollout. For this new financial year, it is forecasting a stable level of business, combined with income from ordinary operations growth of over 60% compared with 2020.
Business stable and strong earnings growth for FY 2021 (January 1-December 31)
This period was marked by stronger interest in recreational boat use, with strong demand for dayboating in particular and therefore sales of small motorboats (under 40 feet). The segment for boats over 40 feet (Real Estate on the Water) is also expected to be very buoyant. The Group is forecasting 10% growth at constant exchange rates for motorboat sales.
On the mono and multihull sailing market, with the strength of the leading brands - Beneteau, Jeanneau and Lagoon - and the emergence over the past two years of Excess, the Group’s second catamaran brand, sales to retail customers are expected to grow 2%.
The Group is forecasting around 5% growth for its Boat Division, excluding fleets.
However, sales of sailing units to charter professionals, a very dynamic component of the Group’s revenues for the past decade, are being affected by the air transport and travel restrictions. While this promising activity is expected to start up again from 2022, the Group has adopted a cautious position in view of its current difficulties, forecasting a contraction of around 50% in its charter sales in 2021, following a 15% drop for the 16 months of FY 2019-2020.
Overall, the Boat Division’s revenues are expected to be virtually stable in 2021 compared with the 2020 calendar year.
In line with the strategic plan, and to prepare for the Group’s 2022 season, the development teams are focusing their activities on three key areas:
On the four strategic markets (Dayboating, Real Estate on the Water, Monohull Sailing and Multihull Sailing), developing a complementary and innovative offering for the four leading brands (Beneteau, Jeanneau, Prestige and Lagoon) and overhauling the lineup of the four challenger brands (Four Winns, Wellcraft, Delphia and Excess). The majority of the models from this new offering will be presented from autumn 2021;
Rolling out the “connected boat” systems to improve the on-board experience and further enhance the services offered by dealers;
Strengthening the Group’s ecological solutions, with the arrival of electric propulsion units offered for an initial selection of sailing yachts and motorboats.
The Group is forecasting a gradual upturn in demand from outdoor hospitality customers from May 2021. This is expected to be accompanied by a resumption of investment in leisure home fleets, paving the way for the Housing Division to achieve growth of around 5% to 6% compared with FY 2020 on a pro forma basis.
The Group’s consolidated business is therefore expected to stabilize this year at the level from the 2020 calendar year. The progress with the order books to date covers more than 90% of this revenue forecast.
Income from ordinary operations growth
Due to the capacity adaptation measures rolled out in 2020, and the reduction of various fixed costs, the Group is forecasting very significant earnings growth from this year: income from ordinary operations for FY 2021 is expected to increase by over 60% compared with the 2020 calendar year, which came in at €27.5m.
These forecasts include the consequences of February’s cyberattack, which will have led to a considerable slowdown in the Group’s production activities over one month.
The year-end net cash position is expected to remain positive, excluding potential acquisitions.
2019-2020 earnings: EBIT resilient and significant improvement in cash position
Revenues (16 months) €1,344.4m -15.1% based on reported data
EBITDA (16 months) €93m 6.9% of revenues
Income from ord. operations (16 months) -€8.1m -0.6% of revenues
Positive net cash €93.4m
Groupe Beneteau closed out FY 2019-2020 (16-month transition year ended December 31, 2020) with revenues of €1,344.4m (-15.1% based on reported data). Following a financial year that exceptionally included two four-month periods with low levels of revenues and traditionally negative EBIT, EBITDA is not particularly representative of the standard level of profitability. However, at €93m, representing 7% of revenues, it shows resilience thanks to the first effects of the industrial adaptation and indirect cost reduction measures.
Healthy financial position despite a year affected by the crisis in 2020
For the last four months of 2020, income from ordinary operations, which is traditionally negative during this period due to the seasonality of the business, came to -€38.1m, with a limited contraction of €3.1m compared with the last four months of 2019.
Reflecting the impacts of the health crisis on operations, the contraction in sales (-€17.7m), which particularly concerns the Housing busines (-€7.8m) and boat charters, was partially offset by the strong upturn in dayboating, as well as major indirect cost reduction measures (+€11.4m), both structural, such as the closure of the Marion site, and linked to the general economic environment, such as the reduction in expenses for shows, profit-sharing and provisions for retirement benefits.
In addition, depreciation charges are down €3.3m for the period, resulting from the Boat Division’s realignment around eight strong brands, as well as the measures rolled out to rationalize investments in 2020.
For the 16-month financial year ended December 31, 2020, revenues totaled €1,344.4m, down 15.1% based on reported data compared with the pro forma 16-month period in 2018-2019. EBITDA came to €93m (EBITDA rate of 6.9%), with -€8.1m of income from ordinary operations (income from ordinary operations rate of -0.6%).
Non-recurring items represent -€78.5m, in line with the lower range of the forecasts published (€75m to €90m). They include (i) €31.1m of costs relating to the measures to adapt the cost structure and production capacity in France and internationally, and (ii) €47.3m of impairments of assets (tangible or intangible) and inventories, resulting from the rationalization of the product offering based on the Let’s Go Beyond! strategic plan presented in July 2020.
Net income (Group share) for the year therefore represents -€80.9m.
For the pro forma 12-month calendar period (January 1-December 31, 2020), income from ordinary operations came to €27.5m (2.5% of revenues), consistent across the Group’s two divisions.
Net cash at December 31, 2020 totaled €93.4m, with strong growth of €171m versus the position at December 31, 2019. This strong cash generation reflects (i) the reduction in inventory for €119m, (ii) the improvement in customer and supplier working capital requirements for €40m, and (iii) the reduction in investments, down €26m (-33%) over the last 12 months.
The free cash flow generated during the 16 months of the financial year is therefore positive, with €25m, despite the negative impact linked to the change of the year-end date.
Groupe Beneteau’s Board of Directors has decided to not propose a dividend payment at the Combined General Meeting on June 11, 2021, as a result of the losses recorded for FY 2019-2020.
On May 11, Groupe Beneteau will report its revenues for the first quarter of 2021.