Each brand has a well-defined identity, with a specific values which are reflected in the product offering, features and design, as well as in appropriate communication mechanics.
We remain convinced that our balanced business model, combining profitable growth and a resolutely responsible approach, creates value for all and plays a full part in our contribution to better living in households around the world.
Against the backdrop of an unprecedented health and economic crisis, first-quarter performances had led the Group to expect a strong impact on business in the second quarter. Indeed, activity hit a low in April, with sales down by over 30% like-for-like, following a 28% contraction in March.
Since mid-May, with the epidemic starting to ease and containment measures being gradually lifted, markets as well as our Consumer sales have trended more positively than estimated across all geographies apart from South America. However, our Professional business has remained very negative, owing to the near-total shutdown of hotels and restaurants during the period.
In this context, the Group estimates a revenue loss of around €200 million for the second quarter, rather than the €450 to €500 million announced on April 28. The slighter decrease in sales, combined with the rigorous implementation of cost-reduction initiatives, and notably short-time working measures, reduces the impact on Operating Result from Activity in the second quarter, which is now expected to be in positive territory.
Major uncertainties remain over the definitive end of the crisis and the resilience of consumption. As such, it would be premature to extrapolate the improvement in the situation to the second half of the year, in particular in a context of increased foreign exchange volatility.
While the Group is expecting a gradual firming up of business activity in the second half, it remains impossible at this stage to precisely quantify the impacts of COVID-19 on the year as a whole. The Group is thus confirming that its revenue and Operating Result from Activity will fall significantly in 2020 compared to 2019.
The Group reaffirms its confidence in its solid and well-balanced strategic model, a strong asset to smoothly navigate this crisis.
Groupe SEB will publish its half-year sales and results on July 23.
THE PRES RELEASE