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Globe Newswire

Aix-en-Provence, 2 November 2020 (8.00 a.m.) HIGHCO SELLS ITS IN-STORE BUSINESSES IN BENELUX AND ACCELERATES ITS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION HighCo has announced the sale of its in-store businesses in Benelux to a group of Belgian investors from the retail industry. The deal has just closed to sell all shares in HighCo Shelf Service SA (“Shelf Service”), which operates in Belgium, and its subsidiary in Luxembourg. This disposal is on track with the Group’s strategy to focus on two key objectives: digitise its businesses and enhance its data management. The COVID-19 health and economic situation is heavily impacting retail and influencing the digital transformations under way. This has brought major new challenges for brands and retailers.Given this market environment, HighCo is deploying its resources and accelerating its investments in its digital businesses. For example, the Group is enhancing its innovation process to digitise two key promotional tools: discount coupons and flyers. The deal primarily involves “paper-based” in-store businesses. In 2019, the share of Digital in HighCo’s total business excluding these discontinued operations would have come to 63.9% (56.2% on a reported basis). The sale of Shelf Service will therefore provide the opportunity to divest a subsidiary whose business has been on a structural decline and whose profitability has dropped significantly over the past several years. In 2019, in-store businesses in Benelux accounted for €12.5 M in gross profit, making a slightly positive contribution to consolidated headline PBIT. 2020 gross profit for these businesses is estimated at €10.5 M (down 16.3% compared with 2019). At end-September 2020, Shelf Service had 123 employees. After this sale, HighCo will remain firmly rooted in Benelux through HighCo DATA Benelux, which had 61 employees at end-September 2020. This subsidiary generates more than 50% of its business in digital activities and will fully benefit from the Gr...

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