The troubled distributor Auchan’s holding company announced on Friday that it had widened its annual net loss in 2019 but also said that its profitability continued to improve “thanks to the confirmed recovery in the performance of Auchan Retail”, its distribution activity.
The annual loss, group share reached 1.286 billion euros, a decline of 12.3% compared to 2018, Auchan Holding said in a press release.
The income from ordinary activities of the northern group – the equivalent of its turnover -, for its part, fell 1.6% in 2019 to 46.415 billion euros.
Current operating income (ROC), the benchmark index for mass distribution, on the other hand more than doubled to 929 million euros.
Owned by the Mulliez Family Association (AFM), Auchan Holding announced at the end of August 2019 that it had suffered a net loss of 1.5 billion euros in the first half, which it had charged to its activities in the process of being sold. , in particular its distribution subsidiaries in Italy and Vietnam, which showed “heavy losses”, as well as the sale of 50.1% of the capital of its Oney bank to the BCPE.
The group has since refocused on two poles: distribution (Auchan Retail) and real estate (Ceetrus).
According to the holding’s press release, “Auchan Retail’s results recovered in 2019, in accordance with the commitments made in March 2019” when a vast “recovery” plan was announced.
At the end of April, the group had thus launched the sale of 21 sites in France, “which had no realistic prospect of returning to profitability”, potentially involving between 700 and 800 employees.
In view of these results, “Auchan Holding reaffirms its desire to reduce its indebtedness by improving its activity, disposals of assets already undertaken and the support of its shareholders who forgo the payment of dividends for 2020 and 2021”, adds the company in its press release.
Nevertheless, she specifies, “the evolution of economic results is (…) dependent on the consequences of Covid-19 on the economy in China and the results of Sun Art Retail (its partner in China, Editor’s note), that it is premature to assess, as well as in the other Auchan Retail and Ceetrus countries “.