Revenues are up at Le Coq Sportif, but profitability is down
A few weeks ago, Le Coq Sportif finally saw its efforts to get back in the sports outfitting game pay off. The brand, which supplies the Tour de France's yellow jersey and the kits for French football team AS Saint-Etienne and France's national rugby union team, became the official kit provider for the French teams for the 2022 and 2024 Olympic Games.
This strategy required heavy investments from the company, but has also resulted in a strong resurgence in its sales. Led by Marc-Henri Beausire, the brand's Swiss parent company Airesis saw its sales increase 6.9% in fiscal 2019, when they totaled 132 euros. This growth was driven by a 23% rise in the company's apparel sales, which, according to the group, was related to "the introduction of dedicated concessions in sports stores, as well as the spotlighting of clothing in company-owned boutiques." The increase in apparel sales also meant that, in 2019, the category contributed more to Le Coq Sportif's total revenues than footwear.
This company first was also related to a 10% year-over-year decrease in Airesis' footwear segment sales in 2019, a decline that the group's management put down to the poor reception of its Spring/Summer collection. With the off-price sale of the collection and the measures taken to replace it, Le Coq Sportif estimates that it lost between 4% and 5% in gross profit margin and that its EBITDA suffered from a negative impact to the tune of between 6 and 8 million euros.
Indeed, the company's EBITDA was in the red in 2019. "Our 2019 results were not up to our expectations. However, we've been able to react quickly and implement the necessary measures. In this respect, Le Coq Sportif's general strategy has made important progress in 2019. Footwear is now ready to transition to the very successful regular resupply model used in our apparel category. Overall, I'm convinced that Le Coq Sportif is now in a healthy position and that we are going to benefit from the experiments and adjustments undertaken in 2019," said Beausire.
Le Coq Sportif also explained that it has boosted its footwear production in Portugal, where it will be able to improve "flexibility and quality."
In fiscal 2020, the group currently expects to achieve revenues of over 140 million euros and EBITDA of around 4 million euros. This guidance does not take into account the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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