El Corte Inglés increased its revenues slightly in the first half of its fiscal year (March 1 to August 31), despite the fact that its retail division, the company's main division, suffered due to bad weather. The group of department stores entered 7,585 million euros in the first half, 0.4% more, and its operating result (EBITDA), grew by 4.4% to 335 million. Revenues are sustained thanks to the growth of travel agencies and insurance, while the main business of the company, sales of fashion, food and leisure products, fell by 0.6%, to 6,017 million euros. The fall is mainly due to the decline of fashion, whose revenues are reduced by 2.1% to 2,331 million.
The company has published this Wednesday its semi-annual results as established by the market regulations in Ireland, where a few weeks ago he launched a issue of corporate bonds for 600 million euros. Until this year, the company limited itself to presenting the annual results in August, coinciding with the shareholders' meeting, although in 2017, it presented them in July.
What the results of this first half of the year show is that the company remains on course, with stable revenues, amounting to 7,585, only 33 more than in the same period last year. However, the bad weather, especially a cooler and rainier spring than normal this year, took its toll on one of its main businesses, the fashion. Thus, textile sales remained at 2,331 million, 2.1% less than the previous year. The fall of fashion was somewhat influenced by the retail division, which lost 0.6% in revenues, despite the strong growth in sales of leisure and cultural products (+ 4.1%) and slightly less food (+ 0.5%, up to 1.294 million) and home (0.6%, up to 719).
The slowdown in retail was offset by the increase in the business of travel agencies, whose revenues amounted to 1,565 million, an increase of 4.6%, and the growth of insurance, by 9.5%, to 104 million. On the contrary, the computer division lost revenue, by 2.8%, to 308 million.
In any case, this is the first half of the year, the weakest of the year, as recognized in the brochure delivered to the Irish stock supervisor in which reported the ins and outs of your business to the potential investors of their bonds a few weeks ago. In the second half, which includes the Black Friday, Christmas and January sale campaigns, most of the company's business is concentrated. Thus, during a conference of analysts after the presentation of results, the managers of the company have affirmed that "all divisions of the company grow in the third quarter", which ends on November 30.
They have also been referred to the brochure to reiterate that the cash flow of the company will be used mainly to "reduce debt", which rose on August 31 to 3,652 million euros, 347 million less than a year earlier.