Global Blue Group Holding AG (NYSE:GB) Q2 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

Global Blue Group Holding AG (NYSE:GB) Q2 2022 Earnings Call Transcript December 1, 2022

Jacques Stern: Good morning, good afternoon. I am Jacques Stern, the CEO of Global Blue and I will be joined today by Roxane Dufour CFO of Global Blue and we will share the presentation of this H1 financial statement, Before I give the floor to Roxane Dufour, first introduce this H1 figures and mention six point, which are important. So first, we have seen in H1 and more in particular in the Q2 a strong improvement of our results on the back of a strong recovery in particular in Continental Europe where for the first time we have reached 2019 figures with 121%, which had led the capability to improve the EBITDA by €26.2 uh at a level of €25.8 million for the Q2, i.e., from July to September. Second point to have in mind is that we have a strong cash position of €221 million.

Roxane will come back on that at the end of September on the back of the equity rates that we have done with in June 2022. Third point to have in mind is that in October the tax free shopping figures have shown an acceleration in terms of recovery in APAC with an increase of 17 point to reach for the first time the level of 68% thus with 51% in Q2. Fourth element to have in mind is that beside this recovery, which is as you've seen stronger in Q2 versus Q1 Global Blue will further benefit from the reopening of China when it will be the case, with in particular an expected strong pent-up demand from Mainland Chinese traveller. Fifth element to have in mind and I will come back to that at the end, given the long term setting that we have implemented in 2020 and 2021 Global Blue will have a higher EBITDA margin than pre-COVID and last but not least, in a situation worldwide where we have strong inflation and potential risk of recession, I will come back on the fact that why Global Blue is well hedge again, those two risk.

With that in mind, I now led the floor to Roxane who will present you Q2 H1. Roxane?

Global Blue Group Holding AG (NYSE:GB) Q2 2022 Earnings Call Transcript
Global Blue Group Holding AG (NYSE:GB) Q2 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Roxane Dufour: Okay. Thank you, Jacques. So yeah I'm Roxane Dufour, the CFO of Global Blue and I will take you through the group's financial performance for the second quarter and the first half of the year ended 30 of September 2022. As a reminder, our financial year runs from April to March. So here this is our Q2 H1 result announcements. Let's start with slide seven of the adjusted P&L. So you will see in appendix all the reconciliation to the nearest IFRS matrix. Here we are pleased to report a significant improvement across all the key metrics. TFS and AVPS reported sales in store increased by €3.3 billion and is now at 72% of pre-COVID labels. Group revenue is now at 64% of pre-COVID level and turning to adjusted EBITDA, we have delivered a significant improvement to €26.2 and which is at now 42% of pre-COVID levels versus 17% in Q1 22-23.

Finally, we recorded a negative adjusted net income for the group of €2.1 million, but again a significant improvement versus negative €15.6 million last year. Now let's turn to Slide eight. Here we are showing the revenue profile over the last six quarters and we can see a strong improvement quarter-on-quarter. If you look at the regional EBITDA, we have seen a significant improvement in Europe as countries have east COVID restrictions and most corridors are open with limited or no restrictions. Jacques will go through this in more detail, but typically in Europe, recovery is led by US superior fuelled by a strong dollar and pattern demand followed by GCC and regional shoppers. There has been a slower epithet in APAC as border control remains strict, although we are seeing the pace increase year as a result of the softening in sanitary measures across some destinations.

Turning now to ADPS , we can also see a strong improvements, revenue increase over the last six quarter. AVPS is recovering quicker than TFS, as is less exposed to international travel. Turning now to Slide nine; here this is the bridge detailing a number of items to consider between the issued SIS to the reported revenue. We are at 92% recovery for the issued sales install in AVPS and TFS. The issued sales install is presented like-for-like, meaning at constant perimeter. Then we consider the scope effect of the UK obligation the tax free shopping scheme in January 2021 and the impact from the UK abolishment is 40 point and there is a further one point impact due to the FX translations, which give us 77% recovery in issued SIS in TFS, NAVPS reported with TFS at 70% and AVPS at 112 %.

Then we have the re-foundation. Once the transaction is issued to traveller us to validate the tax refund and get the refund, this is at this point in time the transaction is part of the reported SIS, which triggers the revenue. Today, the actual refund ratio is slightly lower than pre-COVID levels, mainly due to nationality mix effect and the ongoing disruption we have seen across many airport in Iraq. Then there are transactions completed off period. This is where transactions are issued in the quarter by validated and refunded in the following quarters. This gets us to a 72% recovery for completed SIS and TFS and AVPS, which corresponds to the reporting number in our 6K. Then we have some leakage from completed SIS to reported revenue. First TFS, three main elements here.

We have original mix effect related to business recovering faster in Europe versus APAC, but we have also other elements. We have a merchant mix effect where there has been an increased level of business with larger merchants who get a higher rate of commission. And then we have an increase in average spend, which means higher VAT refunded and therefore lower take up rate for Global. Second, we have the AVPS mix effect where the AVPS business, notably the acquiring business in Australia as a lower margin but is growing faster than TFS. This give us 61% rate of Freeport revenue recovery for AVPS and TFS. Finally, we have the contribution from Complementary RetailTech Solution, which gives us a 64% revenue recovery for the group. A reminder CITS is the acquisition of ZigZag in March 2021 and consolidation Shokuda from September 2021.

Turning now to Slide 11 for detail of the H1 financial performance. Here this is our adjusted P&L. As with Q2, we have seen a significant improvement across all the key metrics in the first half. Group revenue is now at 61% of pre-COVID level. Turning to adjusted EBITDA again, a significant improvement of €43.7 million to €32.6 million euro, which is 32% of pre-COVID level. Finally, we recorded a negative adjusted net income for the group of €13.7 million, but again a significant improvement versus negative €39.4 million last year. Turning now to Slide 12 for an overview of the operating expenses. So here we are showing our adjusted operating expenses in H1 versus pre-COVID level. Variable cost reduced by 36%. That is the revenue decrease of 43% in AVPS and CFS.

Variable costs have decreased at the slower rate compared to revenue as there are more variable costs attached to the AVPS acquiring business, which is going at a faster rate than the rest of the business. Besides the volume driven cost rejection, there has been a reduction of 25% to €20.2 of adjusted fixed operating expenses and as a reminder, those savings are the results of the cost savings program implemented in 2020 at the outset of the pandemic. Finally, we show the listing cost, inflation impact and the scope effect of the RetailTech Solution for a total of €15.8 million zero. As you can see here, inflation is negatively impacting the fixed cost by €44.6 million at an average of 7%. Turning now to Slide 13 for a reconciliation of adjustability EBITDA.

Here we are demonstrating how our long term savings plan is delivering in line with guidance. Based on the natural 57% revenue recovery, our theoretical adjust EBITDA was at €45 million based on the long-term savings plan implemented in 2021. This is to be compared to our current adjusted EBITDA of €32.6 million and let me drag your attention of the following elements. In AVPS segment, the acquiring business developed in Australia is going faster and has a lower margin, as explained before and you can see here the impact of the €4.5 million. The previous guidance that we gave excluded the impact of inflation listing cost and the CITS acquisition, which amounts to €7.9 million. Those elements have negatively impacted the profitability.

However, our permanent savings plan is delivering as per what we previously communicated, i.e. €20 million. Turning now to Slide fourteen for a summary of order cost. Here you can see the detail on adjusted D&A and as well as the net finance cost. D&A decreased to €17.8 million as a result of the reduced level of CapEx in the COVID environment. Then to finance cost, cost increased to €23.8 million as a consequence of less travel foreign exchange rate mainly associated with two transactions; the satellite H1 actin and supplemental shareholder facility are USD denominated, whilst the currency of Global Glue is the euro. Those transactions have generated losses of €1.2 million and €7.5 million as exhibit. Now let's move to Slide 15 for an analysis of our net debt finance.

After an adjusted EBITDA of €32.6 million. the level of CapEx was €14.2 million in H1 this year and is essentially related to technology developments. It's very pleasing to report a positive adjusted EBITDA less CapEx of €18.4 million, whilst we continue to invest in strategic projects. Turning now to working capital; as we see the travel industries recovering, we see volume growth, which leads to an increase in our working capital needs. For H1 2022, 2023, we had a working capital outflow of €87.7 million, which was largely driven by increasing volumes during the peak season in summer. Those increasing volume drive an increase in working capital as travellers get refunded up front and about a month later we collect the VAT from merchant authorities.

Finally, with the proceeds from the issue of share capital from the Satellite equity investments, our net financial debt decreased by €102.6 million, which I will cover on the next slide. Slide 16, as of September 2022, our financial debt amounted to €574.4 million. Both our senior debt and revolving credit facility have a maturity date in 20 August, 2025 and regarding the covenant condition, the first testing date of the total net leverage financial covenant will be on 31 March,2023. So you can see we have significantly strengthened our balance sheet and now have €221 million of cash and cash equivalents and reduce the debt by €102.6 million as a result of the Satellite net adequate investments, but also our continued strong focus on the working capital.

Turning now to Slide 17 for the key takeaways. So to conclude here, this is the main takeaways for the reporting period. First, we are pleased to report a stronger ongoing signs of recovery with the significant increase in revenue of 208% in H1 this year versus last year with TFS and AVPS revenue at 57% of pre-COVID level. Second, thanks to the strong revenue growth and strict management of the cost based, we are pleased to report a strong improvement in adjusted EBITDA to €32.6 in H1 this year from negative €11.1 million last year and it is now at 32% of pre-COVID levers. Third, the savings program implemented by management at the early stage of the pandemic in March 2020 continues to deliver and our fixed adjusted operating expenses excluding the scope effect of CITS listing cost and inflation have reduced by 25% in H1 this year this is 1920.

Finally, we haven't strong cash position of €221 million of cash and as a result of the investments from test and United and our continued focus on working capital. So this concludes the financial sections and I will now hand over to Jacques Stern to present the latest tax free shopping trends and the long term cost drivers for Global.

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Jacques Stern: Thanks Roxane. As you can see in this slide, the recovery has been stronger and stronger over the months and in particular, if you look to the column October 2022, you can see that overall it's seven point on group reporting SIS, issued SIS with a momentum which continued to be strong in Europe with 102% versus 2019 compared to Q2, which was at 101% and more importantly I would say an increase of the recovery now in APAC, where the recovery level reached 68%, which is an increase of 17 point compared to Q2. Let me drive you through the detail of those elements. If I start first by the Continental Europe, so without the UK, you see that the performance as mentioned in October has 102% compared to 101% and if we focus on Q2 figures, I think it's interesting to see that the level of recovery in terms of drop shoppers has been only brackets of 59%.

but thanks to an increase in transaction an increase of value per transaction, which we call pent-up effect -- pent-up demand effect, you can see that the total increase of the spend have been of 73%, which are low to reach this 101% like-for-like in Continental Europe versus 2019. If we look to this more detail this recovery in Europe, per country of destination, we can see that there's big difference between countries of destination. Obviously France, with Greece and Portugal have led this recovery where I would say Italy, Spain and Switzerland are in the back and Germany and Austria are at the queue of this recovery. If we look to the same statistic but without Chinese and Russian and we know, for of this region why Chinese and Russian are not struggling.

You see that the recovery level is not this 102% but 151% percent and you see that there the difference between the country remained the same with France being particularly in the large country, men benefiting country of the recovery, but all the country are almost back to 2019 if we exclude Chinese who cannot travel and Russian for obvious reason, which are not allowed to come in Continent Europe. If we look now the same statistic of Q2 in October by. origin market and as mentioned by Roxanne before, we see that a strong momentum from the US. October from that point of view, has been even stronger than the Q2 with 262% versus 241% but also similar I would say improvement for the GCC. I remind you that GCC are all the countries from the Gulf, UAE, Qatar, but also Saudi.

We are seeing also very strong momentum in regional traveler in Europe. So all the country which are in Europe and not part of the EU '27 including the UK, there also October has shown a stronger performance than the Q2. Same for the mid and long haul origin market. So basically the world if you exclude US and Asia, where there also we have seen a strong momentum. Asian countries have also shown in October a very strong momentum compared to Q2, reaching for the first time the level of 2019 and obviously the two, without surprise where we have not seen a recovery in Mainland China, which is still at only 11% of 2019 and Russian and I have a slide for that, which basically is a surprising 27%, but because we include in Continental Europe, Turkey, which is a main benefiting destination of the Russian tourism.

If I go with a couple of snapshot talking first about the US as origin market, you can see that the momentum in October, as mentioned before has been strong 262% and when you look on the right where in Europe, American are going, you can see that it's quite well distributed, France and Spain being the main beneficiary of the US travellers, but in average, I would say that most of the country have benefit from the US travelers. If we look to the GCC, so there also we see that the distribution is quite homogeneous in the Continental Europe with Turkey, which is they are also benefiting a lot from the inflow of GCC and you see that October compared to Q2 and Q1 has been strong at 256%. When we look to the Asian, I thought it was an interesting slide also to show you.

We are saying that the momentum, in October is quite strong 47% and interestingly enough, we are seeing Hong Kong and Taiwan for which, the sanitary condition have been relaxed, which now are reaching almost 70%, while at the same time the Southeast Asian, thanks to the pent-up demands are reaching more than 160% and as mentioned before, we are seeing Mainland China, which remain around 10% in October versus Q2. When we look to Russia, they also I was mentioning that the performance of 27%, which can be a bit surprising, reflect the fact that basically there is no tourism in Continental Europe in particular Italy or France, which were historically the two main destination for Russia during the summer and in contrast, I would say, you can see that the performance of Turkey is impressive 600% in October, in line with Q2, which runs as the fact that the little Russian tourism that we are noticing is going only in Turkey, where we record the same incredible performance.

If we now turn to the APAC recovery, as I was mentioning in my introduction, October I've seen a sizable increase, thanks to the relaxation of sanitary condition reaching 68% versus Q2 at 51% and on the right of the chart, you can also see that like in Europe, we have an increase or recovery of APAC, which is stronger in terms of spent at 51% compared to a recovery in Q2 in transaction at 20% and in terms of international shoppers at 15%. When we look to the destination where the tourists are going in APAC and you can see that basically we have and this is the figures on the left, a situation which is more or less the same in every country now, in October. which is around 68% with almost no difference between Japan as a destination, Korea or Singapore.

If we exclude the Chinese from this level of recovery, we see that, now for the first time APAC is reaching a 107%. So above 2019, but there we see that the difference are very important with in particular Japan, which is reaching more or less the same figures and in Europe with 161% in particular, thanks to an FX which is favourable. You of course know that the yen is very weak against a major currency and dollar in particular. When we look to origin country, we are seen that basically about Mainland China, all the origin country are now almost at 100% in particular, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which are interesting to country because they may give us an indication of what could be the level of recovery of the Mainland China when -- if and when the borders are reopening.

So key takeaway on this, I would say October figures, first of all, we have seen a very strong improvement in APAC I was mentioning is a 17 point increase while Europe, we are now above 100 and we have seen October, which is stable versus, 2019. In Europe, as I was mentioning the recovery is really led by the US and the GCC, which are at the level of recovery, which is above 250% compared to 2019 and in APAC, we have seen thanks to the relaxation of sanitary condition in Japan and Korea. A strong uplift of the recovery plus 27 point in Japan and 25 point in Korea, reaching a total for APAC as a destination of 68% in October and in terms of recovering. Let me now work you through the long term gross driver from Global. First slide, which is basically the current recovery just to show you that and it's a bit mentioned in my previous slide that when corridors are open and here we are talking about Europe, you see that we have a very strong recovery which is in particular visible thanks to the pent-up demand.

So in Europe, today almost all corridors are re-opened excluding Mainland China and Russia and you see that the recovery is now reaching 151% percent for the corridor, which are re-opened, which represent 68% of the total. While, the one which are closed, which represent 32%, we only noticed a recovery of 15%. It is the same in APAC. In APAC for the corridor, which are reopened and the percentage of those are smaller 44% today, we reached a recovery of 117% while when corridors are closed or almost closed, Mainland China, for APAC mainly, we see that we have guaranteed a recovery of 32%. So the message there is very clear, when borders are reopen and sanitary restriction are dropped, we see a very quick and very strong recovery, which leads to me to the real I would say upside to our figures today, which is the reopening or the potential re-opening of China and there I would like to draw your attention on two points.

First, like we have seen for American for GCC, at the time of the COVID restriction, we are saying that Chinese shoppers are willing to travel again and to shop again if and when the borders are reopened, You can see on this left side of the chart that 83% would like to travel and shop again in Europe and it's even stronger in APAC, when the border will reopen. Second element that I would like to mention is the potential pent-up demand which will occur for Mainland China like it occurs for the rest of the nationality. You can see on the slide on the right side of the slide, that during COVID, the level of spend of Chinese consumer in terms of a personal luxury good have been only brackets of €60 billion for 2020 and 2021 and probably 2022 will be the same compared to almost €100 billion before the pandemic.

Obviously during the pandemic, most of those luxury goods have been bought in China while and we have seen that in our figures, almost nothing has been bought abroad. But when border will be reopen and as suggesting on the left, we can expect I would say that this lack of spending, which we can basically on three years evaluate to €100 billion will then obviously be a factor, a booster for the pent-up demand while Chinese traveler will travel again abroad and shop again abroad. So it's why I'm saying that the real opportunity for the next stage of the recovery for Global Blue is the China reopening, based on, one, willingness to travel and secondly, a kind of mass of spent which has been -- which has not been seen for the last three years by Chinese shoppers.

And from that point of view, I think if we go back to the lab of China, which is Hong Kong, we see that we should expect at each state of the recovery at the relaxation of the sanitary restriction, a level of recovery which is increasing. You can see on this chart, which is showing Hong Kong that at every stage of the relaxation, less and less days of guaranteed less and less test, we have seen the Hong Kong traffic to Europe in terms of tax free, which has been increasing and probably this is what we can expect from China, and you can see that this reopening has taken a kind of a six months with several step of risk relaxation. So when we think about the recovery in Mainland China, probably Hong Kong and this slide 36 give you a good indication for the next six months of what can happen if Mainland China follow the relaxation which we have seen in Hong Kong.

Besides, I would say the Chinese opportunity for Global Blue, I would also to faces the fact that Global Blue remain with very strong long term drivers, which are basically four. First, emerging market dynamic. We have seen in the last 20 years that the diverse strong coalition between the middle class formation in emerging countries and the willingness to travel, the willingness to shop tax free abroad 97% coalition, So in a world where emerging country, middle class are growing, this is probably one of the main driver for the long term growth of Global Blue. Second driver, what we call the VAT dynamic, basically, in simple word, when a country adopt tax free shopping scheme, the growth of its luxury sales is 1.4 times faster than country who have not the scheme and this is why we have seen in the last 40 years that we had every year couple of country which are joining the TFS scheme, to an amount of around 70 country today and this is why we believe that for the future, there will be more country joining the tax free shopping scheme.

Third driver the digitalization. In simple word, every time that a country decide to digitalize its validation exports, we are seeing that the penetration of our solution is higher in the shoppers. What does that mean? It mean that most shopper are using our solution because it's more easy to do and because it's more easy to do, we have better what we call success ratio, i.e. the potential of a traveller, which are using the solution. Why it's important because Global Blue only record a revenue when a transaction is issued and refunded. Therefore, digitalization is a key element for Global Blue in terms of long term growth. Fourth sentiment, which is ecommerce dynamic, you have seen in the last two years that we have made acquisition in the post-purchase experience field.

Clearly, we are exposed now to this ecommerce dynamic and from that point of view, the long term dynamic of the 10%, which is expected by the market, which will translate into favorable trend for this part of the business of Global. So in summary, beside the current recovery, beside the Chinese opportunity, when borders are reopening, Global Blue after that will have strong long term driver to continue the growth of the business and this growth of the business, will be translated compared to before COVID by a higher, I would say profitability. Thanks to the long term selling plan, which has been implemented in 2020 and in 2021, from that point of view, I because you can go back to the slide, which has been presented by Roxanne. But in short, if we scrap the impact of the inflation, the listing cost, basically we can expect an increase of 800 basis point of adjusted EBITDA, when we recover the same level of revenue, then before COVID.

Last but not least, in a very unpredictable environment where inflation is strong and where recession is possible, we believe that Global Blue is well hedged again, those two risk. Why? In terms of inflation, because today our underlining I would say SIS, which is the base of our revenue is directly linked to the luxury price and we have seen that luxury brands are increasing their prize in line, if not above the inflation in the destination country. So from that point of view, if luxury company pass inflation to the price of the good, which we have seen Global Blue will benefit from that directly with a level of SIS, which is more important. On the recession front, just one element to have in mind, which is given our exposure to, I would say wealthy consumer traveling abroad to push up Global Blue is more protected, I would say than other businesses, including luxury industry, where if we look back to '28, '29 prices, Global Blue have posted a flat SIS where the level of volume of business for luxury has decreased by 8% and it's better place than the travel industry, which at the time were decreasing by 16%.

So in summary, in this unpredictable, I would say environment, Global Blue is well hedged against inflation and potential recession. So time for me now to conclude, five points that I would like to recap for you. First, that the recovery now is well on its way. We have reached now for the corridors which are reopened in October 151% of recovery versus 2019 in Europe and 107% in Asia. Second, obviously China is a real I would say, potential opportunity for Global Blue in terms of further increasing the level of recovery even when the borders are reopened. Third, beside the current recovery and China opportunity, Global Blue are very strong long term growth driver which will help to further grow the business, in the future, with a level of profitability which is higher than a pre-COVID, thanks to the long term selling plan that we have implemented in 2021 and last but not least, we believe that Global Blue is well hedged against the risk of inflation and European recession.

Thank you very much for your listening and with Roxane, we give you rendezvous for our third quarter. Thank you very much.

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