Skip to main content


Stable first-half sales on a like-for-like basis
Operating performance in line with expectations
Strong cash generation

Commenting on the first-half 2012 results, Thierry de La Tour d’Artaise, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe SEB, said:

“Groupe SEB ended the first six months of 2012 with revenue stable like-for-like and operating result from activity maintained at a satisfactory level. After the all-time highs recorded in the first-half of 2010 and 2011, this performance demonstrates the Group’s resilience in a difficult global economic environment in which mature markets are under pressure and emerging economies are experiencing a temporary slowdown in their dynamics. Our sales in Europe were particularly hard hit, in an environment of increased competition and promotional activity, and in China, Supor suffered from a certain temporary softening in demand for small household equipment, as in first-half 2009. Outside these two geographies, sales continued to climb, with modest increases in North and South America and solid growth in Russia and the Middle East.

Despite a challenging environment and limited visibility, we are confident in the Group’s ability to generate slight organic sales growth over the full year. While it seems unlikely that we will make up the shortfall in the first half operating result from activity, we’re aiming in the second half to come close to the historically high level of 2011 second half. Looking beyond the ups and downs of the economy, our business model, which is based on innovation and balanced international development, represents our greatest asset for taking advantage of the recovery as soon as it appears.”


First-half 2012 was shaped by a weakened global economic environment that weighed down on consumer spending. However, the small household equipment market remained relatively resilient, even though performances varied between the two quarters and the various geographies. The first half of the year also saw a high level of competition and promotional activity.

Groupe SEB generated first-half revenue of €1,801 million, up 4.7% as reported. This included a positive currency effect of €49 million, due to the increase against the euro of virtually all currencies, and a €32 million contribution from changes in scope of consolidation relating to acquisitions carried out in 2011, with two additional months of revenue for Imusa and six months for Asia Fan and Maharaja Whiteline. Revenue remained stable at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates thanks to organic second-quarter growth of 2%, which offset a decline in sales in the first quarter. It should be noted that the record growth achieved in the first half of 2010 and 2011 – with organic gains of 9.5% and 8.4% respectively – created a particularly high basis for comparison.

Operating Result from Activity

First, as usual, it should be reminded that first-half operating result from activity is not representative of full-year performance and should not be extrapolated.

Operating result from activity for first-half 2012 stood at €143 million, down 8.1% on the prior-year period. This level of €143 million is among the Group’s highest first-half figures ever and represents a satisfactory performance.

The main factors behind the decline were as follows:

  • Lower volumes had a €13 million negative impact, reflecting mainly an under-absorption of production costs related to the reduction of our inventory during the period.
  • Changes in the price mix had a positive impact of €16 million, due to overall price increases whose impact was dampened by local price cuts and promotions.
  • Purchasing prices were kept under control, remaining virtually stable over the period and much better than expected, as the Group benefited from a softening in raw material prices. Moreover, the rise in sourced product prices was more moderate than expected.
  • The negative €20 million currency effect was due mainly to the rise in the dollar against the euro.
  • Fixed costs were reduced by €5 million, including:
    • A slight increase in R&D spending and accrued costs to strengthen support functions.
    • A decline in advertising and marketing expenditure – with a selective approach between the markets expanding and those in recession – and a sharp reduction in internal costs.


Operating profit and attributable profit

Operating profit for first-half 2012 totalled €127 million, compared with €152 million in first-half 2011. Aside from the lower operating result from activity, the 16.5% decline can primarily be attributed to the €14 million capital gain realised on the sale of a plot of land in Brazil in first-half 2011.

Finance costs and other financial income and expense represented a net expense of €14 million, compared with €7 million in first-half 2011. The increased expense reflects a rise in average debt over the period, due mainly to the acquisition of an additional 20% stake in Supor in December 2011.

As a result of the above factors, profit attributable to equity holders of the parent declined to €74 million, from €93 million in first-half 2011. Income tax expense for the period was €32 million, corresponding to an effective rate of 28%, which was slightly higher than in the prior-year period. Minority interests, which concern Supor, amounted to €7 million, down sharply compared to first-half 2011 because the Group now holds a 71% stake in Supor versus a previous 51%.

Financial position

The Group boasted a solid financial position at 30 June 2012, with a strong balance sheet.

Equity stood at €1,388 million, slightly up from €1,362 million at 31 December 2011.

Net debt came to €654 million at 30 June 2012, versus €673 million six months earlier. The €19 million decrease stems from cash generated from operations of €113 million during the period.

With gearing below 50% and a debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 1.3, Groupe SEB’s balance sheet ratios remained healthy at 30 June 2012, supported by diverse and flexible sources of financing.

To go further...