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Lagardère Group’s future called into question by 2020 annual results

Lagardère Group’s future called into question by 2020 annual results

Under the impact of the pandemic, the Lagardère group posted a considerable net loss of €660 million in 2020 with a 38% drop in sales to €4.4 billion, 65% of which was in the fourth quarter alone. Figures that pose a very serious threat to the future of the group, which is in danger of being dismantled in the future.

 

In detail, the publishing branch (Hachette) is more resistant than the retail branch, ensuring 54% of the turnover, 246 million in profits and stable income at 2.4 billion euros. The latter, on the other hand, posted losses of €353 million.

 

Media revenues (Europe 1, Paris Match, le JDD, Elle, magazine licences, entertainment activities, the corporate group) also collapsed by 20% to 229 million euros, with an operating loss of 47 million euros. 

 

Arnaud Lagardère, CEO, also estimated the year for publishing as a “very good year” which saw the release of “exceptional best-sellers” at a conference with analysts.

 

Debt was estimated at €1.7 billion on 31 December 2020 and would exceed the €2 billion threshold if the €465 million state-guaranteed loan (PGE) is included.

 

Lagardère’s annual figures only accentuate the negative trend that the group has been following for some time. Indeed, the company was already being contested by  LVMH and Vivendi and the battle is unlikely to lessen with these catastrophic results. The division promises to be complicated, if not impossible, given the gulf between the two branches, one is flourishing, the other is posting only losses.

 

“The new equilibrium of society that will last until 2022 requires that the company be maintained, temporarily, as it is. In such a context, Bernard Arnault will not take ill-considered decisions. He will hear Vincent Bolloré’s requests but will think twice before giving him satisfaction? Admittedly, media such as Paris Match or Europe 1 can be ceded to Bernard Arnault or Vincent Bolloré, but all this is, financially speaking, relatively anecdotal. “explained one investment banker.

 

As a reminder, Vincent Bolloré, CEO of Vivendi and Lagardère’s largest shareholder, showed a strong interest in Europe 1. Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, holds 27% of Arnaud Lagardère’s personal sponsorship and targets “JDD” and “Paris Match”.

 

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However, nothing has been decided or signed for the future of the group, its assets and its subsidiaries.

 

“As far as I’m concerned, and I’m in charge, absolutely no decision has been taken at this stage on the sale of this or that asset,” Arnaud Lagardère told financial analysts on Thursday. The latter does not exclude any options except that the stability of the subsidiaries must continue.

 

Read also > FINANCE : VINCENT BOLLORE AND BERNARD ARNAULT FIGHT OVER THE LAGARDERE GROUP

 

Featured Photo : © Press

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