Beneficial interest GIB: 47.13%
AvH Contact: Piet Dejonghe
2015 was marked primarily by the two major terrorist attacks in Paris, which created a climate of great fear, with a strong impact on the leisure industry and the catering business in particular. In line with the further deterioration of the French economic situation, the restaurant market failed to make a recovery, but instead declined by another 3%.
In this context of a general downturn in restaurant visits, Groupe Flo declined further, even though the first positive signs were observed. Turnover was 6% down on 2014. This decrease in the number of visits and turnover is reported in all chains. Nevertheless, the closure of a number of locations needs to be taken into account. The brasseries held their ground until the end of 2014, but were hard hit by the terrorist attacks in January. Their activity has not yet returned to the level before ‘Charlie’. After four years of strong decline, the market appears to be recovering for Hippopotamus since July. Although the November attacks had an impact on sales, the basic trend is positive. At Tablapizza, the first positive signs at the end of 2015 have yet to be confirmed in 2016, but the new concept that was launched in Sens in December is up to expectations. Finally, the concessions continue to be profitable.
As a result, the improved activity trends reported in the second half of the year had only a limited impact on the EBITDA for the full year 2015, which is considerably lower than in 2014. The group’s net result amounted to -51.5 million euros at year-end 2015, of which 34.9 million euros as a result of impairments.
In this context of recovery, Groupe Flo completed the renewal of its management team. The group now has a highly experienced management team that will further implement the strategic plan. This strategic four-year plan, which was formulated at the end of 2014 in close consultation with the board of directors, will promote the group’s recovery and restore its long-term profitability. Nevertheless, certain chains will have to be disposed of to help finance and reposition the operations. In order for the plan to succeed, the group’s general organization has been completely transformed as well. Groupe Flo reorganized the head office’s structures and operational control, based on a decentralized, simplified and consumer-focused brand-by-brand organizational model. Groupe Flo started negotiations with its bankers to adapt its financing to the new strategic plan.
2016 will be the second key year for the recovery of activity.