CARREFOUR S.A. (CA.PA): A MAJOR PLAYER IN FRANCE AND EUROPE
Based in Levallois-Peret, Carrefour S.A. operates hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience store, cash and carry and e-commerce store in 3 regions:
- Europe: France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Poland and Romania
- Latin America: Brazil and Argentina
- Asia: Taiwan
CA revenues saw strong commercial performance in 2020 up 7.8% LFL highlighted by solid growth in France +3.6% LFL, Spain +7.1% LFL and Brazil +18.2% LFL. Customer satisfaction was at the center of the CA business, with the mobilization of its employees in this sanitary crisis context by overcoming huge logistics challenges.
Overall, CA posted solid results, and profitable earnings with strong actions taken by the firm (a 5-year cost restructuring plan that will end in 2022) to rise profits and boost investments in other activities such as e-commerce
With strong performance in FY20, the French retailer, CA, had to deal with exceptionnal challenges as the covid-19 pandemic kicked in. The retailer has benefited, during this period, from strong demand for necessity goods (especially food) which has considerably improved its results all over Europe as well as in other key markets such as Brazil
Overall, Q1-21, disclosed a strong momentum in its activities. CA achieved €19.6 Bn in total revenues, up 2.2% y/y (vs €19.4 Bn prior year), highlighted by France, CA main business driver (which represents 48% of the revenue stream) with sales up 3.5% LFL. Consumers have prefered to shop close to home (convenience stores and supermarkets) as well as through e-commerce. Also hypermarkets have seen strong improvements, in Q3-20 with sales up 2%
CA strategy is bearing fruits, since the launch of the 2018 cost restructuring plan, as the management is keen to expand its activities and main focus on convenience stores in order to be less dependent than hypermarkets. In addtion to that, developing its emerging brand (bio products: Carrefour Bio) in partnership with cooperatives and private industrials.
Consequently, the overall cash balance has also evolved positively since 2017, especially from an operational point of view. Invetories are better managed as well as receivables from clients which are all converting faster into cash (12 days and 36 days on average, respectively). In the upcoming years, This pace will fasten pushed by the consolidation of the industry and further smart investments.
Indeed, continuous expenditures into properties and companies will be made to ensure growth and profitability. This is illustrated by CA expansion all over Brazil (February 2020) : 30 cash & carry shops and petrol station acquired for €420. Additionaly, the strengthening of its position in the Bio business by purchasing Bioazur (5 new shops added to its portfolio): a way to become a key player as bio products retailer in France.
To fund these activities, the company will be relying on its positive cash from its operation activities and bonds contracted in the past years and will continue to do so in the future.
SHARE PRICE – YTD the stock gained 15.4%. The share price (06/10/2021) closed at €15.98 per share
Forecast – FY2021 sales will follow the past results trends (and momentum) and can expect 2% growth on average in the next years. Since 2018, certain measures were taken by the management to improve efficiency and profitability: cost savings, e-commerce development, less reliability on hypermarkets in profit of convenience stores and international expansion to boost operations. Carrefour S.A. is now on the right track to remain at the top in France against its competitors and also remain a major player in Europe.
Expected share price : 18.55€