Lagardère TR at €3,927 million in 2022 as it edges closer to 2019 sales

By Luke Barras-hill |

Lagardère Travel Retail swung back to profitability in full-year 2022 with recurring EBIT reaching €136 million/US$144 million.

This represented a €217 million improvement on the year-earlier figure, as revenue in 2022 increased 65.4% on a like-for-like basis (71.5% reported) to total €3,927m, fuelled by performances in EMEA and North America.

In a results statement yesterday, Lagardère Travel Retail attributed the EBIT performance to an exceptionally low flow-through impact ratio (the impact of the decrease in revenue on recurring EBIT) of 4.9% versus 2019.

Revenue exceeds 90% of 2019 level

The result puts the multi-location travel retailer 9.6% down on 2019 revenues.

EMEA (excluding France) posted rocketing revenues of +91.2% as regional and international travel – particularly to Western Europe and Poland – rallied.

In the Americas, revenue increased by 51.6%, with business in the US up 39.1% despite the gains already made in 2021.

Canada posted an even more remarkable recovery at +223.6% after health restrictions hampered a portion of 2021.

Asia Pacific revenue contracted by 1.7%, mainly due to China’s zero-Covid policy hampering the international passenger traffic recovery.

Fixed costs were slashed by €180m in 2022 compared with 2019. One-off government and airport aid related to the health crisis amounted to almost €50m in 2022.

Revenue in Q4 totalled €1,093m – up 41.3% on a like-for-like basis (+46% reported).

Aelia Duty Free at London Luton Airport.

Group revenue gains of +28%

Lagardère Group consolidated revenue increased by 28.3% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis to total €6,929m (+35.1% reported).

Group recurring EBIT totalled €438m versus €249m in 2021, an improvement of €189m.

Net debt grew from €1,535m at 31 December 2021 to €1,713m at 31 December 2022.

Meanwhile, at the time this report went to press the proposed takeover of Lagardère by French media conglomerate Vivendi was awaiting the green light from the European Commission.

The EC opened an in-depth investigation into the potential effects of the proposed transaction in late November and has until 23 May to make its decision.

As reported, the Lagardère shares acquired by Vivendi SE from Amber Capital and in the public offer do not carry voting rights until the takeover is approved by the relevant competition authorities.

Currently, it can exercise 38,387,791 voting rights – accounting for approximately 22.81% of the total.

Arnaud Lagardère, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lagardère SA, commented: “The Lagardère group delivered a historic performance in 2022, reporting an improvement in all of its main financial indicators and confirming the relevance of the strategic refocusing carried out since 2012.

“Lagardère Travel Retail benefited from the rebound in tourist air traffic in Europe and North America, particularly in its duty free segment. After an exceptional performance in 2021, Lagardère Publishing managed to maintain a very high level of revenue, driven by the success of bestsellers in its various publishing houses.

“The Group’s Other Activities returned to growth, while Lagardère News held firm, reinventing itself in a changing market. Thanks to the hard work of all of our teams, we outperformed 2019 profitability and significantly improved our leverage ratio compared to 2021.”

All charts source: Lagardère Travel Retail full-year 2022 results.

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