French premium fashion company SMCP has successfully recovered from the challenges posed by the pandemic, with sales exceeding €1 billion in its latest financial year. The company reported that sales in Q4 of 2021 were in line with pre-pandemic levels and saw a significant increase of 22.1% compared to Q4 2020.

Overall, sales for the year 2021 rose by 18.7% to reach €1.038 billion. However, they were still down 9.7% compared to 2019, reflecting the ongoing impact of the pandemic. The strong sales momentum for SMCP was primarily driven by the Asia-Pacific region, with mainland China experiencing a notable rise of 15.2% compared to 2019. The Americas also saw sales return to pre-pandemic levels, with the US outperforming with a 5.5% increase over the past two years.

SMCP’s e-commerce performance was described as “very strong,” achieving a digital penetration rate of 23%. The company attributed its success to the implementation of a full-price strategy, leading to higher profits. As a result, adjusted EBIT grew from €7 million in 2020 to a remarkable €95.3 million in 2021, while net income increased from a loss of over €102 million to €23.6 million.

Despite ongoing geopolitical issues, SMCP remains optimistic about the current year, expecting double-digit sales growth compared to 2021. Sales are also projected to increase in mid-single digits compared to 2019, while adjusted EBIT is anticipated to be at least in line with 2021.

Analyzing regional performance, SMCP noted that sales in France gradually caught up to and surpassed 2019 levels in the fourth quarter. Sales in France were up 9.6% compared to 2020, driven by strong like-for-like growth of 11.7%. Despite a decline of 16.3% on an organic basis compared to 2019, SMCP emphasized the solid performance given the severe restrictions in the first half of the year.

In the EMEA region, SMCP experienced a 19.6% increase in group sales compared to 2020, primarily driven by strong like-for-like growth in physical stores. However, the region still recorded a decline of 16.6% on an organic basis compared to 2019 due to store closures and the loss of tourism-related sales.

Sales in the APAC region rose by 14.5% compared to 2020 and 5.5% compared to 2019, driven by robust sales in both physical and digital channels. China performed remarkably well despite local Covid resurgences and major weather events in key cities.

Meanwhile, sales in the Americas saw a significant increase of 57.2% compared to 2020 and were nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, down just 0.6% compared to 2019. The US played a crucial role in driving the sales growth in this region.

SMCP’s individual brands also experienced positive sales performance. Sandro reported sales of €497.6 million for 2021, representing a 19.8% increase on an organic basis. Maje saw sales rise by 20.7% to €407.3 million, while Claudie Pierlot and Fursac recorded respective sales increases of 9.4% and 27.7%.

SMCP CEO Isabelle Guichot expressed confidence in the company’s ability to achieve its objectives by 2025, despite uncertain market conditions. She highlighted the consistent improvement in SMCP’s performance throughout the year, allowing them to regain pre-pandemic activity levels and achieve record levels of profitability and free cash flow.

For more information, please visit:
SMCP Official Website
Reuters Article on SMCP’s Sales Growth Expectations