Belgian Vanden Borre and Dutch BCC's parent company, French Darty, has closed its fiscal year 2014-2015 with a 13.8 million euro net profit. This profit spells the end of a 4-year period filled with losses.
Growth thanks to online and franchise stores
French electronics giant Darty has finally managed to publish good news after 4 years of losses: it ended its broken fiscal year, which ended on 30 April, with a 13.8 million euro net profit (compared to a 6.6 million euro last year) and a 3.51 billion euro turnover. Turnover was up 3.2 % compared to last year.
France's turnover growth was slightly larger (+ 3.5 %), thanks to the new franchise expansion policy: it added another 39 franchise stores in the past fiscal year. On a like-for-like basis, turnover dropped 1.6 % in general and 2 % in France. Thanks to the mistergooddeal.com integration, online sales spiked 22 % in France, with Darty claiming a 17 % web penetration.
Darty's Dutch subsidiary, BCC, has "become one of the country's larger omnichannel players", thanks to an acquisition of 18 stores. Including its Belgian affiliate chain, Vanden Borre, the Low Countries are worth a 698.6 million euro turnover, 1.7 % more than the year before (- 0.3 % on a like-for-like basis).
Its operational profit reached 60.3 million euro, an improvement over the 53.4 million euro from last year. Net profit reached 13.8 million euro, which is its first profit in 4 years' time.
No longer in Czech Republic and Slovakia
Darty pulled out of the Czech Republic and Slovakia after selling all of its shares in the onerous Datart. The move is part of the Nouvelle Confiance restructuring plan launched in 2013: The French decided to pull back into its three historical markets. Similarly, Darty pulled out of Italy and Spain.
The drastic restructuring, coupled with cost-cutting measures and an investment plan (in online and franchising), should be finalized by the next fiscal year, but chairman Alan Park proudly announced "the divestment in non-strategic activities" has now been finalized. "Despite difficult market conditions, our market share has increased and the group has reached its intended 50 million euro cost-cutting measures earlier than expected."
Nevertheless, CEO Régis Schultz, who took up this difficult task in 2013, warns not to be overly optimistic. "Despite signs of increased consumer trust, the product cycles will continue have a negative impact on our more-than-challenging markets."