Bimba y Lola returns to profit in 2021 and is close to pre-pandemic levels | Economy

Showcase of a Bimba y Lola store.
Showcase of a Bimba y Lola store.

Bimba and Lola begin to seal the wounds caused by the pandemic. The textile group from Vigo (Pontevedra) led by sisters Uxía and María Domínguez has almost returned to the profitability levels reached before the coronavirus crisis, with revenues of 216.5 million euros in its last financial year (March 2021 to February 2022), 31% above 2020, but still 5% below those of 2019. The company’s net profit was 15.7 million euros, which means reversing the losses of the previous yearalthough it has yet to reach pre-pandemic numbers (over 18 million in profits in 2019).

The covid-19 epidemic has shaken his business when its turnover fell by 27% in 2020. And successive waves of the pandemic in 2021 have hampered the recovery of sales. The net result recorded last year was also impacted by exceptional depreciation and provisions caused by the closing of stores and the cancellation of the launch of the brand in Russia. “We never got there. Just when there was a timetable for openings, they were paralyzed with the onset of war,” company sources point out.

The clouds have not completely disappeared: high inflation and logistical problems are still hampering the full recovery of its trade. However, the decrease in infections and the gradual return to normality allowed it to get back on track and continue its expansion plan. The 2021 financial year was characterized by the strong recovery in traffic and in-store sales (+54% vs. 2020), and the stabilization of the digital channel, which contributed 22% of total sales.

For Jose Manuel Martínez, CEO, the 2021 results reflect the company’s efforts to leave behind an extreme period. “They represent a return to profitability, which has allowed us to reactivate our expansion and investment plans around the world. We are aware that this current year is again facing complex challenges internationally and locally, but we continue to be committed to our project to consolidate Bimba y Lola as a global brand,” he said. in a press release.

The international growth of the brand has also allowed it to take off. The weight of international sales amounts to 38% of the group’s total. In February 2021, Bimba y Lola had 271 points of sale in 20 countries and its presence had expanded to 43 countries thanks to the development of its digital channel. At the end of last year, the Group announced its purpose of landing in China, with the idea of ​​opening 30 stores in five years. Entry into this market will be done in conjunction with ImagineX, a fashion brand distribution and management group in Asia.

All attempts to export failed. In France, the brand did not deliver the expected results, according to its CEO. And in Italy, the textile business declined. He entered with four stores six months before the pandemic, closed them with the onset of the crisis and postponed this market until later. For their part, Mexico, Chile and Singapore stand out among the foreign markets that performed best before the pandemic. The challenge now is to capture this same model in China.

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