Michel Denis, President & CEO stated: “The 2014 half-year results were totally in-line with our roadmap and confirmed the forecasted improvement in the group’s financial performance. The 9% growth in sales compared to H1 2013 (+13% like for like) were achieved within a difficult environment and permitted us to strengthen our market position through improvements in our market share. That was made possible thanks to the work of our teams and our networks which could rely on an efficient and responsive operating chain.
The improvement in our gross margin to 14.5% of sales (13.7% in H1 2014) combined with the decrease in overheads resulted in operating income from continued operations of €24.5 million or 3.8% of sales (0.9% in H1 2013). Our financial structure is reinforced and solid, and the net debt level remains very much under control and within the same magnitude as of last December.