The end of the confinement and the progressive reopening of the centers caused El Corte InglÃ © s to achieve a positive ebitda of 64 million euros in the second quarter of the year. To these factors were also added the effects of online sales and all together allowed its turnover to be 2,817 million, with a gross profit of 811 million euros.
According to the results presented this Friday by the group, after a first quarter conditioned by the general closure of establishments (except food and basic services), cash generation from June to August stood at 679 million euros thanks to the increase in sales, the positive impact of cost savings and purchasing management, as well as other complementary measures and actions.
As recognized by the company, the impact of the pandemic has been felt especially in activities related to tourism. In fact, the area most affected has been Travel The English Court, which has seen its turnover reduced by more than 90%.
Without counting the effect of tourism, the total retail turnover was 2,843 million, 12.9% less than the same period of the previous year, due to the lower influx of tourists, both national and international. Regarding the margin on sales, it has increased 170 basis points during the second quarter compared to the first, to stand at 26.7%.
In recent months and as a strategy to face the impact of the coronavirus, the company has strengthened its financial flexibility, “achieving a significant increase in liquidity and a reduction in expenses, while boosting the online business and the omnichannel strategy “.
This has made it possible to maintain and even increase market share in some specific segments, optimizing the physical and digital value proposition. It has also stepped up its logistics and same-day order delivery capabilities, and has promoted another series of services such as Click&Car y Click&Collect.
Regarding the whole of the first six months of the year, net sales reached 4,489 million euros with a gross profit of 1,285 million. Ebitda has been negative by 131 million, after having improved positions between March and June.
According to the net debt at the end of the second semester, stands at 3,266 million euros, compared to 3,945 million at the end of May. The company maintains its strategy of preserving and boosting its liquidity position, with close to 2,200 million euros at the end of August 2020, which ensures the financial stability of the company.
After the end of the semester, El Corte InglÃ © s successfully completed the placement of senior bonds amounting to 600 million euros. The strong demand received, which exceeded supply by four times, prompted the company to expand its initial issuance from 400 to 600 million euros. This bond issue has strengthened the Group’s liquidity position.
The English Court faces the second part of the exercise with confidence before the next Christmas campaign, since a large part of the year’s sales are concentrated there. Looking ahead, it maintains its policy of business diversification, a permanent push for digitization, and a firm commitment to those aspects related to corporate social responsibility (zero waste, energy efficiency, equality policies, etc.
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