Stationery, school and art supplies manufacturer FILA has said results at its key European and North American operations are improving.
The Italy-based group – whose brands include Dixon Ticonderoga, Pacon, Lyra, GIOTTO and Canson – still reported underlying H1 decreases in these regions (which together account for more than 80% of sales), but both are back on a growth trajectory following the steep declines seen in the first quarter.
For the first six months of the year, group sales were €350.7 million ($394 million), a 37.4% year-on-year increase. Revenue included €87.2 million from US school products supplier Pacon, acquired in June 2018, and €10 million in positive currency translation. Excluding these, comparable sales fell by 0.5%.
In North America, H1 sales were around €166 million, an underlying drop of 4.5%, while Europe was down 2.2% (mainly due to Italy and France) to approximately €114 million. There was strong double-digit growth (+23%) in Asia, driven by India, and the Central-South America region grew by 4%, with good results from Mexico and Argentina.
In terms of product groups, the largest segment, School & Office (71% of total sales), grew by 0.9%, Fine Art, Hobby & Digital (26% of the total) declined by 5% and the Industrial category (2.7% of the total) was up by 8%.
Adjusted EBITDA for the period was €58.2 million, 31.2% higher than last year due to the Pacon acquisition and the strong performance from the Asia and Central-South America divisions. However, on a pro forma, currency-adjusted basis, adjusted EBITDA fell by 2.5%.
In the US, FILA has announced the sale of Superior Specialities, a photography backdrop manufacturer that is part of the Pacon group, for $10 million. FILA said the sale of this “non-strategic asset” should be completed in October.