Posted Jul 28, 2022 5:57pmUpdated July 28, 2022 at 6:28 p.m
Looking in the rear-view mirror, the majority of the big French groups can congratulate themselves on the progress made in the first half. In a more than chaotic context – from the return of war on European soil to inflation from China’s “zero Covid” policy – many representatives of the CAC 40 are posting good, even very good financial results.
In this uninterrupted salvo of financial publications, Total, Air Liquide, Stellantis, Airbus, Schneider Electric, Sanofi, LVMH (owner of “Echos”) or Saint-Gobain raised the earnings bar at the beginning of the year. Some have been driven by the rise in energy prices, others by consumers’ renewed appetite or their ability to impose price increases on their customers.
drop the masks
Other big names in French capitalism have finally blamed the fallout from the health crisis. The rooms of the Accor hotels are occupied again, the SNCF TGVs are filling up with passengers. Even Unibail has returned to normal crowds in its malls. “At the beginning of the second quarter, masks were still mandatory on public transport, but as soon as this was lifted, the number of visitors increased again,” emphasizes Jean-Marie Tritant, CEO of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
But the sky of the tricolor economy is far from clear. Not to mention the EDF case, bathed in very bright red by the throes of the atom, inflation, galloping at different speeds depending on the sector, has put a certain number of sectors under severe pressure. Starting with the great food chain, where some links struggle more than others. If Carrefour, like Danone, was able to digest the labels’ waltz perfectly, this is less true of Casino or the Bel Group, the manufacturer of the laughing cow, or Nestlé, which is certainly Swiss.
In short, those who arrive weakened in times of severe turbulence are in contention as always, while those returning with a triumphant record seize the opportunity to widen the gap. The latter can therefore look calmly, but with a touch of concern, to the second half of the year, which will be clearly characterized by the consequences of inflation on purchasing power, the approaching peak of the Russian gas crisis, the weak euro and the strong dollar and the tormenting lack of staff. The possible (probable?) onset of a recession is now on everyone’s lips.
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