Fnac Darty exceeds its annual objectives with the return of buyers to stores

A staff member works during preparations for the reopening of a Fnac store in Paris as part of an easing of the country’s lockdown restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, May 18, 2021. REUTERS / Sarah Meyssonnier

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Feb 23 (Reuters) – Fnac Darty reported better-than-expected full-year results on Wednesday, helped by strong sales growth across all its product categories as consumers returned to its stores.

Retailers have seen in-store sales rebound in recent months as vaccinations and the easing of pandemic restrictions encouraged shoppers to return after months of lockdowns.

The French book, music and electrical retailer posted recurring operating income of 271 million euros ($306.61 million), slightly above its own forecast which predicted the figure would be at the upper end in the range of 260 to 270 million euros.

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The reopening of stores has particularly benefited sales of editorial products and services, while the group’s ticketing activity has begun to gradually recover.

The group did not provide an outlook for 2022, remaining cautious about the evolution of its markets.

“I see 2022 as a year that is going to be (…) a bit uncertain in terms of market behavior with inflationary pressures (and) the presidential elections in France,” said group chief financial officer Jean-Brieuc Le Tinier. in a call. with journalists.

France has seen inflation soar over the past year to a 13-year high, but the central bank expects it to moderate in 2022, with first signs of stabilization visible in January , when it fell to 3.3% from 3.4% a month earlier due to falling prices. for manufactured goods due to winter sales. Read more

The brand has, however, confirmed medium-term objectives of cumulative free cash flow from operations of around 500 million euros over the period 2021-2023, and free cash flow from operations of at least 240 million euros on an annual basis from 2025.

Last year, Fnac Darty gained 5 million active online customers, he said, with online sales accounting for 26% of its total revenue of 8 billion euros.

In a separate statement, it also announced a new partnership with Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O), under which Fnac Darty’s websites will use the tech giant’s Cloud Retail solution to improve product search. Read more

The group plans to pay an ordinary dividend of 2 euros per share, representing a payout ratio of 37%.

($1 = 0.8839 euros)

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Reporting by Dagmarah Mackos; edited by David Evans

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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