French premium fashion retailer SMCP has seen a strong recovery in the first half of 2021, with profits returning to the black. Despite facing challenges such as Covid restrictions, low footfall, and reduced tourism, the company reported solid sales growth of 21.6%, reaching €453.3 million. Sales on an organic basis increased by 23.3%. SMCP, which owns brands like Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot, and Fursac, experienced double-digit growth in mainland China, with a year-on-year organic growth of 54.6% and a 24% increase compared to the first half of 2019.

The company also noted positive momentum in the US market, where it is performing exceptionally well. Adjusted EBITDA rose by 81.9% to €100.3 million, and adjusted EBIT shifted from a loss of €29.7 million to a profit of €25.2 million. Net income also improved, moving from a loss of €88.5 million to a profit of €0.6 million.

Outgoing CEO Daniel Lalonde expressed satisfaction with the performance in the first half of 2021, highlighting the positive sales results in all regions, especially in the Asia-Pacific and the US, where sales either exceeded or returned to pre-pandemic levels. Lalonde credited the positive EBIT results to disciplined cost and expense management, along with a focus on capital expenditure and working capital management. The company also achieved strong Free Cash Flow performance.

Incoming CEO Isabelle Guichot emphasized the progress made in SMCP’s strategic plan, “One Journey.” Noteworthy accomplishments included an increase in full-price sales and the implementation of new in-store initiatives to enhance the overall shopping experience. SMCP also prioritized optimizing its physical and digital presence, as well as implementing centralized global demand planning to improve inventory management and strengthen the business model. Sustainability initiatives remained a core focus for the company, with continued progress towards its objectives.

Useful links:
1. [SMCP Official Website](https://www.smcp.com/)
2. [Sandro Official Website](https://www.sandro-paris.com/)