Fnac results beat general sales decline

Fnac, the leading French cultural products chain and the country's biggest seller of books, remained in the black in 2012, despite a downturn in the French retail sector.

The chain reported an operating profit of €79m (£68m) for the full year to the end of 2012, although this was down 22.7% from 2011. Revenue in all its markets slid 2.5% to €4.06bn (£3.5bn), but there was a smaller decline in France (down 1.6%), despite the French market declining by about 10% in value sales year on year. 

Fnac.com accounted for 14% of all sales—of which 22% of orders were sourced from store stock—while the retailer said that it sold 180,000 Kobo e-readers in the year.

Announcing the results, Fnac c.e.o. Alexandre Bompard said the group held up well thanks to diversifying its product range to household appliances, toys and games in some stores to help offset the decline in sales of music. As intended, the chain cut costs by €80m (£69m) last year and reduced stock by 10%.

It continues to implement its Fnac 2015 strategic plan, which was announced in July 2011, by developing its franchise operations with small outlets in train stations, airports and small town centres, and medium-sized outlets in neglected commercial areas.

The announcement came a few weeks before the Fnac begins a roadshow ahead of the chain’s stock market listing on 19th June. Parent company PPR has wanted to shed the subsidiary for some time, and decided last October to opt for a market flotation rather than seek a buyer.