Financial strength and agility ensure business resilience during the pandemic while planning and investing for future growth.
Mensdorf, Luxembourg – February 22, 2021 (07:00 CET)
B&S Group S.A. (“B&S Group” or the “Group”), a global distribution partner for consumer goods, today publishes its full year 2020 results (“FY 2020”).
Highlights FY 2020 (compared to FY 2019)
- Driven by the impact of Covid-19, overall turnover decreased by 5.9% to € 1,861.8 M (-4.9% on a constant currency basis)
- Organic turnover decrease of 8.1% (7.1% at constant currency);
- The effect of lower sales and gross profit was partly counterbalanced by scaling down (temporary) staff costs and utilising government support measures, resulting in an EBITDA of € 90.3 M (FY 2019: € 114.4 M);
- Net cash from operations amounted to € 147.0 M (FY 2019: € 113.4 M), which was the result of a strong focus on matching inventory inflow with sales outflow;
- As a result of strong cash flow, net debt / EBITDA at December 31, 2020 stood at 2.3 (pre IFRS 16), well within (waived) covenants;
- Net profit amounted to € 40.6 M (FY 2019: € 60.3 M);
- Proposed cash dividend of € 0.10 per share, corresponding to a pay-out ratio of 40% of profit attributable to the owners of the Company.
Tako de Haan, CEO: “In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought challenges we have never seen before – it has altered our ways of working and forced us to rethink the everyday. As a business, an important priority in 2020 has been to recognise these challenges and utilise them as a catalyst for change.
When Covid-19 hit globally in Q1 2020, we had the financial strength and agility to implement strict control measures to keep our people safe while ensuring business continuity. We also implemented various measures related to working capital and cost control that were concentrated on aligning net debt and EBITDA levels to allow the group to keep operating within its covenants.
Cost control was mainly focused on reduction of variable operating expenses by reduction of temporary staff and expiration of fixed term contracts. It also led to the difficult but necessary decision to carry out reorganisations in sub segments that were severely hit by the pandemic.
Our working capital focus was on aligning the inflow levels of our inventory with market demand and as such decreasing our net debt position. All in all, it resulted in an EBITDA of € 90.3 M for FY 2020 with a net debt / EBITDA of 2.3 at year end. Our operating cash flow increased significantly from € 113.4 M in 2019 to € 147.0 M in 2020.
Besides our actions taken in response to the profound impact of Covid-19, B&S Group continued to invest and plan for future growth. We made the clear and conscious choice to put business in the lead in all strategic decisions – and initiated the embedding of centralised support functions to create a simpler and more efficient company that is financially stronger and sharply focuses on shareholder returns.
As an example, we marked e-commerce a dedicated IT specialism within our organisation to enhance the roll out of our digital strategy, which has already proven effective: we have risen to the global e-fulfillment challenges presented by Covid-19. This is evidenced by the resilience of our overall HTG results which were driven by e-commerce growth in both Health & Beauty and Liquors. These capabilities enable us to reach out to suppliers and customers digitally and provide unmatched service levels to manage our value chain for growth – from the source all the way to the online end-consumer.
Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on markets where we foresee growth. This is supported by continuing the digitisation of our services and investing in e-commerce solutions. It allows us to leverage opportunities in online channels, both in B2B and B2C markets and across all product categories. In order to reduce operating expenses structurally, we will continue our cost control measures and the centralisation of operations and we will further roll out our Digital First approach to enhance operational efficiency and support scalable growth.“