FILA getting back on track

Stationery, school and art supplies manufacturer FILA has said results at its key European and North American operations are improving.

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.

Milan, Italy