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Wednesday, 19 July 2017



Published: 18:02 CEST 19-07-2017 /GlobeNewswire /Source: HIGHCO / : HCO /ISIN: FR0000054231

Paris, 19 July 2017 (6.00 p.m.)





Slowdown in business activity in the second quarter

  • Q2 20171 gross profit of €21.9 M, up 0.7% on a reported basis and 0.7% LFL2.
  • H1 20171 gross profit of €42.28 M, up 2.5% on a reported basis and 2.3% LFL2.
  • Growth in digital businesses: Q2 LFL up 3%; H1 LFL up 6.2%.
  • Growth in France: Q2 LFL up 2.5%; H1 LFL up 7%.
  • Decline in Belgium: Q2 LFL down 3.6%; H1 LFL down 7.9%.


Expected increase in half-year earnings (adjusted headline PBIT3 and adjusted operating margin3)


Rise in operating margin maintained despite weaker business growth outlook in 2017

  • Growth in gross profit revised from more than 4% to more than 1% LFL.
  • Growth in adjusted headline PBIT3 revised from equal to or greater than 6% to between 4% and 6%.
  • Increase in adjusted operating margin (adjusted headline PBIT/gross profit)3 maintained at equal to or greater than 50 bp.

Gross Profit (in € M)1


2016 Reported

2016 LFL2

Reported change

LFL2 change













Total H1







1 Limited audit by the Statutory Auditors currently in progress.

2 Like for like: Based on a comparable scope (i.e. including CapitalData over six months in 2016 and 2017) and at constant exchange rates (i.e. applying the average exchange rate over the period to data from the compared period).

3 Adjusted headline profit before interest & tax: recurring operating income before restructuring costs and excluding the cost of performance share plans. Adjusted operating margin: Adjusted headline PBIT/Gross profit.


Didier Chabassieu, Chairman of the Management Board, stated, "After an exceptional year in 2016, the first half of 2017 has been a period of more contrast for HighCo. Organic growth in Q2 was not as strong as expected due to the drop in volumes in the Group's offline businesses, especially in Belgium, and to slower growth in Digital operations. Despite this, we expect growth in our annual earnings thanks to sound cost control, and are moving forward with our investment strategy in digital businesses, especially those specialised in data and mobile technologies."




With like-for-like growth of 3% in Q2 2017, Digital has enabled the Group to continue to grow organically, but at a slower pace. The share of digital activity in total Group business continues to rise, up from 47.6% in Q2 2016 (excluding the United Kingdom) to 48.7% in Q2 2017. Down 1.4% like for like over the same period, offline businesses continue to decline, particularly in Belgium. As a result, along with the very high comparison base over this period in 2016 (up 16.5% like for like, excluding the United Kingdom), the Group posts slight business growth for Q2 2017, up 0.7% on a reported basis and 0.7% like for like to €21.9 M.


Digital businesses grew 6.2% on a like-for-like basis in H1 2017, and their share in Group gross profit rose accordingly from 45.5% at end-June 2016 (excluding the United Kingdom) to 47.3% at end-June 2017. HighCo still aims to generate more than 50% of the Group's total business in digital activity by the end of the year. Offline businesses fell 0.9% like for like over the first half of 2017. The Group's gross profit came to €42.28 M over the period, up 2.5% on a reported basis and 2.3% like for like.


H1 2017 revenue amounted to €75.3 M.





Up 2.5% like for like, France turned in gross profit of €15.56 M in Q2 2017, representing 71.1% of the Group's gross profit. This rise was mainly driven by the development of in-store digital businesses, which offset the decline in paper coupon clearing. Digital was up 4.2% like for like in the second quarter, in part due to the price repositioning initiated at the beginning of the year for certain Drive-to-Store mobile activities (Internet+ mobile).


H1 2017 gross profit totalled €29.98 M in France, rising 7% like for like. Digital businesses grew 5.6% like for like over the first half of the year, and their share in gross profit reached 53.6%.






International gross profit fell 3.6% like for like to €6.34 M in Q2 2017, i.e. 28.9% of the Group's gross profit. Despite a slight improvement, Belgium continues to experience a decline in the volume of paper coupons cleared and in offline in-store media. With gross profit of €6.07 M, Benelux was down 3.6% like for like in Q2 2017, as against a 12.2% drop in the previous quarter.



International gross profit stood at €12.3 M in H1 2017, down 7.5% like for like. Benelux declined 7.9% like for like and represented 27.7% of the Group's gross profit. Business in Southern Europe (Spain and Italy) held up, with like-for-like growth of 1.4% over the period. The region accounts for 1.4% of the Group's gross profit.




Based on the consolidation in progress, the Group forecasts strong half-year earnings, with:

  • Growth in adjusted headline PBIT3 and adjusted operating margin3 for H1 2017 (restated H1 2016 headline PBIT: €10.2 M, restated H1 2016 operating margin: 24.7%);
  • A financial position holding up at a healthy level, with a net cash surplus (including the working capital resources of Data businesses) expected to increase significantly compared with 31 December 2016.





Given the performance reported for the second quarter and the outlook expected for the second half of the year, the Group has revised its guidance for 2017:

  • Growth in 2017 gross profit revised from more than 4% to more than 1% like for like (2016 gross profit: up 11.8% like for like);
  • Growth in adjusted headline PBIT3 revised from equal to or greater than 6% to between 4% and 6% (adjusted 2016 headline PBIT: €14.1 M);
  • Rise in adjusted operating margin3 maintained at equal to or greater than 50 bp (adjusted 2016 operating margin: 17.4%).


About HighCo


Since its creation, HighCo has placed innovation at the heart of its values, offering its clients - brands and retailers - Intelligent Marketing Solutions to influence shopper behaviour with the right deal, in the right place, at the right time and on the right channel.

Listed in compartment C of Euronext Paris, and eligible for the "long only" DSS, HighCo has more than 700 employees and since 2010 has been included in the Gaia Index, a selection of 70 responsible Small and Mid Caps.




Your contacts


Cécile Collina-Hue                                             Cynthia Lerat

Managing Director                                             Press Relations

+33 1 77 75 65 06                                              +33 1 77 75 65 16

comfi@highco.com                                             c.lerat@highco.com




Upcoming events


Publications take place after market close.


2017 Half-year Earnings: Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Conference call on 2017 half-year earnings: Thursday, 31 August 2017 (11.00 a.m. CET)

Q3 and 9-month YTD 2017 Gross Profit: Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Q4 and FY 2017 Gross Profit: Wednesday, 24 January 2018




HighCo is a component stock of the indices CAC® Small (CACS), CAC® Mid&Small (CACMS) and CAC® All-Tradable (CACT).

ISIN: FR0000054231

Reuters: HIGH.PA

Bloomberg: HCO FP

For further financial information and press releases, go to www.highco.com




This English translation is for the convenience of English-speaking readers. Consequently, the translation may not be relied upon to sustain any legal claim, nor should it be used as the basis of any legal opinion. HighCo expressly disclaims all liability for any inaccuracy herein.


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This announcement is distributed by Nasdaq Corporate Solutions (One Liberty Plaza, 165 Broadway, New York, NY 10006. Tel: +1 212 401 8700. www.nasdaqomx.com) on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients. Source: HIGHCO, 365 avenue Archimède, Marseille FR-13003, France
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