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Press release H1 2021 and HY statement (pdf version)

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Aalst-Erembodegem, July 29, 2021 – Ontex Group NV (Euronext Brussels: ONTEX) today announced its results for the six months ending June 30, 2021.

Q2 2021

  • Revenue of €501 million marked a return to year-on-year growth: +4.5% at reported currencies and +6.2% LFL; sales up in all 3 categories and 2 of 3 Divisions, and driven by strong performances in strategic priorities: Adult Care, Baby Pants, and US market. Q2 was also a sequential improvement of +4.4% versus Q1
  • Adjusted EBITDA: €51 million, -14.2% vs PY; strong generation of structural operational efficiencies and reduced overhead cost partially offset the impact of increased raw material prices
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin of 10.3%, -224 bps year-on-year, in line with Q1
  • Currency headwinds: -€11 million on sales and -€2 million on Adjusted EBITDA

H1 2021

  • Revenue: €981 million, -6.9% at reported currencies and -3.2% LFL
  • Adjusted EBITDA: €101 million, -19.8%. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 10.3% (-166 bps)
  • €27 million structural cost improvements in operations and overhead fixed cost reductions
  • Currency headwinds of -€44 million on sales and -€13 million on Adjusted EBITDA
  • Net profit: €7 million (H1 2020: €41 million) includes €23 million of non-recurring expenses, most of which relate to cost-out programs, as well as €7 million one-time refinancing expenses
  • H1 Free Cash Flow: €22 million (H1 2020: €29 million)
  • Net debt: €843 million at June 30, 2021, essentially stable compared to December 31, 2020
  • Group funding of €1.1 billion secured: refinanced through a €580 million bond and €470 million syndicated bank facilities, extending maturities up to 2026, diversifying sources of funding, and enhancing the Group’s liquidity profile

Esther Berrozpe, Ontex CEO, commented:We are not satisfied with the H1 financial results. In the context of unprecedented raw material cost increases, these results clearly demonstrate the need for urgent and significant strengthening of Ontex’s business. In the first six months, our immediate focus has been to stabilize revenue, improve operating performance, drive significant cost reductions and strict management of cash. Q2 2021 results already show the first signs of progress, however they only partly offset the increase in raw material prices, which will continue to be a major challenge in 2021. The appointment of the new management team allows us to accelerate the process of change. We have also refinanced the Group’s funding with strong support from debt markets, so that we are now able to fully focus on driving the company turnaround.”

2021 Outlook

In a context of ongoing raw material price increases, Ontex expects for FY 2021:

  • Stable LFL revenue
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin of c. 10%
  • Strict cash control with capital expenditure held below 4% of revenue

Key Financials for H1 2021 and Q2 2021

First Half Second Quarter
in € million, except per share data and margins 2021 2020 Variance 2021 2020 Variance
Reported Revenue 980.6  1,053.4  -6.9% 500.9  479.2  4.5%
LFL Revenue 1,019.3  1,053.4  -3.2% 509.1  479.2  6.2%
Adjusted EBITDA 101.0 125.9 -19.8% 51.4 59.9 -14.2%
Adjusted EBITDA Margin 10.3% 12.0% -166 bps 10.3% 12.5% -224 bps
Adj. profit/(loss) for the period 24.2  49.2  -50.7%
Adjusted EPS 0.30  0.61  -50.6%
Profit/(Loss) for the period 7.2  41.1  -82.5%
Basic EPS 0.09 0.51 -82.4%
Free Cash Flow 22.1 28.7 -22.9%
Net Debt 842.9 853.4 -1.2%
Net Debt / LTM Adj. EBITDA 4.00x 3.28x 0.72x

Full refinancing of Group debt completed

As announced on June 29, 2021, the Group completed the refinancing of €1.05 billion, comprised of €580 million of 3.50% senior notes and a new syndicated facilities agreement including a term loan facility of €220 million and a new revolving credit facility of €250 million. Pro forma for the impact of the new funding we estimate that for the twelve months ended March 31, 2021, the Group’s cash interest expense would have increased by approximately €10 million.

 

Q2 2021 Highlights

Revenue was €501 million in Q2 2021, an increase of 6.2% LFL versus the prior year and also up 4% sequentially versus Q1 2021. The areas identified in June as key to delivering sustained revenue improvement were visible in Q2: starting to reverse the sales trend of retailer brands in Europe, outperforming in North America, growing our current emerging markets business, and accelerating in Adult Care. On a reported basis, sales were up 4.5%, despite currency headwinds, particularly from the Brazilian Real, Turkish Lira, Russian Ruble and US Dollar versus the euro, which amounted to €11 million.

Q2 2021 Adjusted EBITDA was down -14.2% compared with prior year at €51 million. The lower result was due to higher raw material prices, as well as €2 million currency headwinds. These impacts were partly mitigated by the strong reduction of net operating expenses and SG&A related to ongoing productivity and overhead savings programs. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 10.3% was down -224 bps versus a solid comparable prior year, however the Q2 margin was in line with Q1 2021 despite the material increase in raw material prices.

Net debt was €843 million at June 30, 2021, similar to the positions at December 31, 2020 and
March 31, 2021. Leverage was 4.00x at June 30, 2021.

Operational Review: Categories

Categories First Half Second Quarter
in € million 2021 2020 % ∆ as reported % ∆ at LFL 2021 2020 % ∆ as reported % ∆ at LFL
Ontex Reported Revenue 980.6  1,053.4  -6.9% -3.2% 500.9  479.2  4.5% 6.2%
Baby Care 524.7 589.7 -11.0% -6.2% 270.6 261.3 3.5% 6.0%
Adult Care 336.2 338.4 -0.6% 3.4% 166.4 161.3 3.1% 5.7%
Feminine Care 100.6 111.0 -9.3% -13.4% 53.3 49.0 8.8% 3.6%
Other 19.1 14.4 32.6% 40.5% 10.6 7.5 40.1% 43.3%

 

Baby Care sales were up 6.0% in Q2 2021, and also increased sequentially versus Q1 2021. Revenue growth was recorded in both Baby diapers, driven by strong performances across most of the AMEAA markets, and a double-digit increase in Baby pants with both AMEAA and Europe up in the quarter. For H1 2021 Baby Care sales were down -6.2%.

Q2 2021 Adult Care revenue increased 5.7%, confirming our focus to capture the faster growth available in this category. Sales in retail channels were up 22%, driven by double-digit growth in both Europe and AMEAA where Brazil, Mexico and Turkey were all ahead of prior year. In institutional channels, revenue decreased due to reduced occupancy rates in care homes, which showed first signs of improvement at the end of the second quarter. Sales of Adult Pants rose double-digits in the Q2 with strong growth in all three Divisions. Adult Care sales were up 3.4% in H1 2021.

Revenue in the Feminine Care category increased 3.6% in Q2 2021. Sales were lower in Europe, where the majority of our sales are, whereas AMEAA was up on a year ago. Feminine Care revenue was down -13.4% in H1 2021 compared to growth of 5.3% in the same period prior year. Reported H1 2021 sales include a contribution from the feminine care acquisition in the US in July 2020, which recently retained an important contract with a leading retailer.

Operational Review: Divisions

Divisions First Half Second Quarter
in € million 2021 2020 % ∆ as reported % ∆ at LFL 2021 2020 % ∆ as reported % ∆ at LFL
Ontex Reported Revenue 980.6  1,053.4  -6.9% -3.2% 500.9  479.2  4.5% 6.2%
Europe 386.9 442.0 -12.5% -11.0% 195.2 191.9 1.7% 2.6%
AMEAA 379.1 393.6 -3.7% 4.5% 200.2 180.1 11.2% 14.9%
Healthcare 214.6 217.9 -1.5% -1.5% 105.5 107.2 -1.6% -1.9%

Europe

Revenue in Europe was up 2.6% in Q2 2021. The sales growth was driven by higher volumes, led by Russia where we gained new contracts. We also saw accelerated growth in Adult Care as a result of our improved portfolio and strong positions. As previously reported, the net negative balance of contract gains and losses reduced significantly following a strong impact in Q1, while softer demand continued in retail channels as consumers have shifted to purchase more online since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. While personal hygiene market demand is expected to continue being impacted by COVID-19 measures and shopping behaviors, we anticipate our business to continue to stabilize as we return to gaining new business based on currently known customer decisions. H1 2021 revenue in Europe was down -11.0%, concentrated in Q1 2021 and mainly the Baby Care category.

Americas, Middle East, Africa and Asia (AMEAA)

The AMEAA Division posted strong sales growth of 14.9% in Q2 2021. Revenue in the Americas rose double digits, driven by double digit growth in both Brazil and the USA. Brazil delivered an 11th consecutive quarter of LFL sales growth, benefiting from strong growth in Baby pants. We continued to ramp up our US business and gained further contracts with retail customers. Revenue in Mexico was also ahead despite the market contraction, and our leading portfolio of Baby and Adult Care brands has gained market share in 2021. Sales in the Middle East, Africa and Asia markets increased driven by solid performances of our Baby Care brand Canbebe and Adult Care brand Canped in Turkey and Algeria. H1 2021 revenue in the AMEAA Division was solidly ahead at 4.5%.

Healthcare

Q2 2021 Healthcare revenue decreased -1.9% compared to prior year. Sales grew in e-commerce and new business development. Lower occupancy rates in care homes have weighed on demand across a number of markets during H1, with some signs of improvement in Q2 albeit more slowly than anticipated. Revenue was also impacted by some UK customers using up inventory related to Brexit uncertainty last year, and some supply chain limitations for an overseas customer which are expected to reverse in the second half. H1 2021 Healthcare revenue decreased -1.5% compared to prior year.

New Division structure will be reported as from Q3 2021

We announced in June 2021 a streamlined organization, with a delayered structure to gain agility and speed of decision-making. We have created two geographic divisions, Europe and AMEAA, which are now effective and will report revenues in this new structure as from Q3 2021. Historical sales data can be found in the annex.

FINANCIAL REVIEW

Selected Financial Information

First Half
in € million 2021 2020 % ∆
Ontex Reported Revenue 980.6  1,053.4  -6.9%
Cost of sales (711.5) (736.2) -3.3%
Gross profit 269.1 317.2 -15.2%
Operating expenses (168.1) (191.3) -12.1%
Adjusted EBITDA 101.0 125.9 -19.8%
Non-recurring income and expenses (23.1) (10.8) 113.4%
EBITDA 77.9  115.1  -32.3%
Depreciation and amortization (43.9) (43.4) 1.3%
Operating profit 33.9  71.7  -52.7%
Net finance cost (23.7) (16.2) 46.4%
Income tax expense (3.1) (14.4) -78.7%
Adjusted profit for the period 24.2  49.2  -50.7%
Adjusted Basic EPS 0.30 0.61 -50.6%
Profit for the period 7.2  41.1  -82.5%
Basic EPS 0.09 0.51 -82.4%
Free Cash Flow 22.1  28.7  -22.9%
–  Of which change in WC (17.4) (10.4) 67.8%
–  Of which Capex (23.0) (45.2) -49.2%
 –  Of which repayment of lease liabilities (11.5) (13.7) -15.9%

 

Gross profit

H1 2021 gross profit amounted to €269 million, down -15.2% compared to prior year. Strong productivity savings which accelerated in Q2 partly mitigated the negative impacts of lower sales, higher raw material indices and foreign currency depreciations. Gross margin was 27.4% in H1 2021, or -268 bps  down on a year ago.

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA was €101 million in H1 2021, -19.8% below the previous year. Savings generated through reduced overheads partly offset lower gross profit. The adjusted EBITDA margin was down -166 bps to 10.3%.

Non-recurring income and expenses

Non-recurring expenses in H1 2021 totalled €23 million. Nearly all of these expenses are related to actions to turnaround company performance, including reducing overhead costs and streamlining the organization, and optimizing the Group’s operations, for which an asset impairment was recorded in the amount of €8 million.

Foreign Exchange

The depreciation of several currencies outside the euro zone which started in March 2020 negatively impacted revenue and Adjusted EBITDA in H1 2021, mainly in Q1. Group revenue faced a -€44 million headwind, mainly due to the depreciation of the Brazilian Real, Turkish Lira and US Dollar, and to a lesser extent the Mexican Peso and Russian Ruble, versus the euro. Movements in the Brazilian Real, Russian Ruble and Turkish Lira explain the -€13 million impact on H1 2021 Adjusted EBITDA.

Net Finance Cost

The net finance cost was €24 million in H1 2021, up €7 million or 46.4% compared with last year. The increase is a one-time cost arising from the successful refinancing completed at the end of June 2021, composed of a non-cash charge of €4 million for the accelerated amortization of the previous refinancing in 2017, and a cash cost of €3 million for the mark to market of interest rates swaps no longer required post the refinancing.

 

Income Tax Expense

Income tax expenses in H1 2021 were €3 million, resulting in an effective tax rate of 29.8% versus 25.9% in 2020. The rate increase is mainly the consequence of a different country mix of pre-tax profits and lower profitability resulting in the partial write off of previously recognized deferred tax assets on tax losses and other items.

Working Capital

At the end of June 2021, working capital* as a percentage of last twelve months’ sales was 8.5%. Although working capital has been tightly managed over the past quarters, we believe there is room to make further structural improvements as part of the Group-wide Cash is King program being implemented as part of our drive for greater cash conversion.

Capital expenditure

Capital expenditure is subject to a short-term freeze, while ensuring investment in our strategic priorities with a focus on returns, such as growth in North America. In H1 2021, capital expenditure amounted to €23 million, or 2.3% of revenue.

Free Cash Flow

H1 2021 free cash flow was €22 million. The decrease of €7 million reflects less cash generated from operating activities, which was partly offset by lower capital expenditure and cash income taxes.

*excluding monetization through factoring lines: €140 million at end June 2021, €157 million at end June 2020

 

Corporate information

The above press release and related financial information of Ontex Group NV for the three months and six months ended June 30, 2021 was authorized for issue in accordance with a resolution of the Board on July 28, 2021.

AUDIO WEBCAST

Management will host an audio webcast for investors and analysts on July 29, 2021 at 09:00am CET/08:00am UK. A copy of the presentation slides will be available at http://www.ontexglobal.com/

 

Click on the link below to attend the presentation from your laptop, tablet or mobile device. Audio will stream through your selected device, so be sure to have headphones or your volume turned up.

https://globalmeet.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1482520&tp_key=eb35ea54b9

A full replay of the presentation will be available at the same link shortly after the conclusion of the live presentation.

FINANCIAL CALENDAR 2021

Q3 2021                October 28, 2021

Contact

Maarten Verbanck
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+32492724267

Philip Ludwig
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+32 53 333 730