Despite a loss of 59 million euros in the first quarter of 2020 and a profit of only one million euros in the same period last year, the Sonae group closed its accounts before March with a net result of 42 million euros, year on year. year EBITDA increased by 17.2% to 149 million euros.
Sales rose 5.1% to a record €1.69 billion, with MC (Continente)’s business accounting for almost €1.3 billion, up 3.8% on the first three months of last year.
“The start of 2022 has been very good for Sonae. Our businesses have continued to perform well in their respective markets and the group has maintained a robust growth trajectory with higher levels of profitability, resulting in a higher portfolio valuation,” says Claudia. Azevedo, CEO of Sonae, in a message accompanying the 2022 Q1 earnings presentation released this Wednesday, May 18, to the Securities Markets Commission (CMVM).
Claudia Azevedo also highlights numbers reflecting a robust capital structure with leverage ratios and comfortable liquidity levels: “Our consolidated results, together with portfolio management activities, generated €627 million in ‘free cash flow’ over the last 12 months, allowing for a significant reduction in net debt of approximately for 600 million euros,” he says.
Strictly speaking, the reduction in net debt over the past year amounted to 588 million euros, of which 368 million were between January and March 2022.
At the same time, in the first three months of this year, it invested 110 million euros in acquisitions.
“These results were achieved under very difficult conditions, marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” notes Claudia Azevedo, noting that “despite the fact that Sonae was not subjected to direct and material contact with these countries,” the group’s business “already felt indirect consequences of the conflict, namely through rising energy prices, widespread inflation and restrictions in supply chains, having managed to overcome these problems,” he concludes.
However, “regardless of how the global economy and financial markets develop, with our business group, strong financial position and the competence of our teams, we are well positioned to navigate through this cycle of uncertainty, continue to strengthen our competitive position and take advantage of the opportunities presented,” — says the CEO of the group based in Maya.
Fashion up, wear down, Sierra triples profits
In terms of business units, beyond the giant MC, which Sonae says “continues to gain market share,” the focus is on the fashion business, where he explores brands like MO, Salsa, and Zippy, “with Zeitreel able to get back up to sales in the first quarter of 2019, after two very difficult years for the fashion industry affected by the restrictions of the pandemic”, ending the first three months of 2022 with sales of 96 million euros, an increase of 57% compared to last year.
In the sports business, sales of ISRG (Iberian Sports Retail Group), Sonae’s joint venture with JD Sports, which owns the SportZone brand, rose 66% to €366m, with online channel share up 15.7% to 21.1% into circulation, “largely due to the acquisition of Deporvillage,” Sonae admits.
Wortena, after two years of strong growth in a row, “the electronics market in Portugal contracted in the first quarter of 2022, mainly due to the pandemic in the first quarter of 2021, which markedly improved the online channel and increased sales of computer products.” . In addition, a “less severe winter” has passed, which “limited the search to seasonal categories”.
“This unfavorable context for the electronics market and the reorganization of the supply in the Spanish mainland contributed to the reduction in turnover. [da Worten] from 4.1% to 261 million euros in the first quarter of 2022,” says Sonae.
At Sierra, which represents the group’s real estate business, especially shopping malls, “there were positive signs of recovery in early 2022”, net income tripled to 9.8 million euros, while asset valuation increased by 5.1% to 972 million euros. which further emphasizes this tenant. sales are up over 90% year on year.
In financial services, Universe’s output increased by 23% to €257 million, gaining “96k new customers compared to the first quarter of 2021, reaching around 989k at the end of the first quarter of 2022,” he said. assures.
As of March, Nos recorded a turnover of 373 million euros, representing a year-on-year growth of 10.6%, driven by the media and entertainment segments (over 71.1%) and telecommunications (9%), “with a positive contribution from the impact of mobile subscriptions, B2B service solutions and roaming revenues through fewer travel restrictions,” explains Sonae. Profit increased by 35% to 41 million euros compared to the first quarter of last year.
Finally, Bright Pixel (formerly Sonae IM) “continues to actively manage her portfolio” by adding several sells (she left Safetypay and ciValue) and buys (she joined Experify and Hackuity) and took part in the €35 Cybersixgill promotion. millionth round of funding.
“At the end of the first quarter of 2022, the capital invested in the active portfolio reached 159 million euros, and the net asset value was 378 million euros,” Sonae concludes regarding the performance of its technology investment division for the first three months. this year.
However, following the end of the quarter, Bright Pixel agreed with Thales Europe to sell all share capital and voting rights to Maxive, the holding company that includes S21sec and Excellium.
“The transaction has an underlying ‘corporate value’ of Maxive of €120 million and is estimated to have a positive impact on Sonaecom’s consolidated results of around €63 million,” Sonae clarifies.