HighCo: gross margin for the 4th quarter of 2021


Aix-en-Provence, January 19, 2022 (6 p.m.)


Return to growth in 2021 with Q4 in line with expectations

  • Fourth quarter 2021 gross margin (GP)1 €20m, up 1.7% based on reported figures and LFL2.
  • Gross margin 20211 of €76.52 million, up 3.2% in published data and LFL2.
  • Growth in digital business (Q4 up 2.6% LFL; full year up 2.6% LFL) and good performance of offline business (Q4 down 0.2% LFL; full year up 4.5% LFL) %LFL).
  • Growth in 2021 activity in France (Q4 up 2.9% LFL; fiscal year up 3.3% LFL) slightly higher than that of International (Q4 down 7% LFL; fiscal year up 2.3% LFL).

2021 financial performance exceeds expectations

  • Growth in overall PBIT3 is expected to increase by more than 25%.
  • Adjusted operating margin (adjusted EBITDA/gross margin)3 from more than 19% to more than 20%.
  • Returns to shareholders: recommendation of a sharp increase in the dividend (+18.5% to €0.32 per share).

Stock market: HighCo remains eligible for the PEA-PME

Gross margin (in M€)1 2021 LFL 20202 2021/2020
LFL2 cash
Q1 18.59 18.19 +2.2%
Q2 19.21 17.78 +8.1%
Q3 18.72 18.52 +1.1%
Q4 20.00 19.67 +1.7%
total over 12 months 76.52 74.16 +3.2%

1 Data being audited.
2 Like-for-like: On the basis of a like-for-like scope and at constant exchange rates (ie by applying the average exchange rate for the period to the data for the period being compared).
In addition, in application of IFRS 5 – Non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations, Shelf Service activities have been presented as discontinued operations from the fourth quarter of 2020. For the sake of consistency, the data reported for the first nine months of 2020 has been restated to take into account the impact of the Shelf Service. Consequently, like-for-like data is equal to restated data for the first nine months of 2020.
3 Adjusted current operating income before interest and taxes: Current operating income before restructuring costs and excluding the impact of performance share plans. Adjusted operating margin: Adjusted EBITDA/Gross profit.

Didier Chabassieu, Chairman of the Management Board, declared: “After two years marked by a complex health and economic environment, HighCo returned to growth (+3.2%), driven mainly by strong growth in Mobile activities (+6.8%). This growth in our activities, combined with good cost control, has enabled us to deliver a very strong profitability (Op.M > 20%), higher than the pre-pandemic level in 2019. Thanks to this good financial performance, the Group can advance in its aggressive innovation strategy thanks to significant financial and human investments in its new businesses, while offering returns to high shareholders with a dividend per share from €0.32.”


As anticipated, HighCo is growing in Q4 2021 and posts a gross margin up 1.7% to €20m. Digital activity grew by 2.6% like-for-like in Q4 2021, driven by the good performance of Mobile businesses (+6.3%). At the same time, offline activities fell slightly by 0.2% in the quarter.

As a result, the Group’s activities increased by 3.2% for the 2021 financial year to €76.52 million.
This growth was mainly driven by:

  • Digital, up 2.6%, which now represents 66.9% of activity, in particular with the good performance of Mobile businesses (+6.8%);
  • Strong increase in volumes of compensated coupons (+14%), thanks to paperless clearing (+30%) and the significant increase in digital coupons issued on Click & Collect Websites (up 27%);
  • Good performance of offline activities (+4.5%), benefiting from a favorable comparison base.

The Group’s turnover for the 2021 financial year amounts to €137.4 million.

Growth in activity in France in 2021 slightly higher than that of International

FRANCE Gross margin (in M€) 2021/2020
LFL change
% Total gross profit
2021 LFL 2020
Q1 15.98 3:30 p.m. +4.5% 86.0%
Q2 16.50 15.66 +5.4% 85.9%
Q3 4:30 p.m. 16.21 +0.6% 87.1%
Q4 17.66 17.16 +2.9% 88.3%
total over 12 months 66.45 64.32 +3.3% 86.8%

In France, the gross margin for Q4 2021 increased by 2.9% to €17.66 million. Digital activities increased by 2.8%, driven by Mobile (+5.8%). The good quarterly commercial activity was also driven by the good performance of offline activities (+3.2%).

As a result, activity increased by 3.3% for the 2021 financial year, with France accounting for 86.8% of the Group’s gross margin. Digital activities grew by 2.4% and their share accounted for 67.4% of gross margin. Thanks to an extremely favorable basis for comparison, mainly in Q2 (+25.3%), offline activities grew by 5.1% over the year.

INTERNATIONAL Gross margin (in M€) 2021/2020
LFL change
% Total gross profit
2021 LFL 2020
Q1 2.61 2.90 -10.1% 14.0%
Q2 2.71 2.12 +27.8% 14.1%
Q3 2.42 2.31 +4.6% 12.9%
Q4 2.34 2.51 -7.0% 11.7%
total over 12 months 10.07 9.84 +2.3% 13.2%

In international companies, after two quarters of strong growth, gross margin in Q4 2021 fell by 7% like-for-like to €2.34m.

For the 2021 financial year, the International activity thus increased by 2.3% to €10.07 million., representing 13.2% of the Group’s gross margin. This growth in activity stems both from Belgium (+2.1%), with an increase in the volume of cleared coupons (+7%), and other countries (+4.3%). Digital grew 3.3% for fiscal 2021 and accounted for 63.1% of gross margin.


On the basis of the current year-end closings, the growth in activity combined with good cost control shows strong nominal PBIT growth of more than 25%. As a result, the Group raises its operating margin guidance, now provides adjusted operating margin3 from more than 19% to more than 20% (adjusted operating margin published in 2020 of 16.4%). This profitability is also higher than the pre-pandemic level (adjusted operating margin published in 2019 of 18.5%).

In view of the Group’s expected results and its solid financial situation, the Management Board plans to offer high returns to shareholders:

  • by recommending to the Supervisory Board to propose to the next General Meeting a dividend per share of €0.32, representing a strong increase of 18.5%, doubling the pre-pandemic dividend paid in 2019 (€0.16 per share);
  • and moving forward with share buyback program.

The 2021 annual results will be published on March 22 after market close. A conference call for financial analysts is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23 at 11:00 a.m.


In accordance with the regulations (Action Plan for the Growth and Transformation of Companies or PACTE of May 22, 2019), HighCo remains eligible for the government support scheme for the PEA-PME. Eligibility means that HighCo shares can be included in these PEA-PME.

About HighCo

Expert in data marketing and communication, HighCo is constantly innovating to support brands and retailers in the face of the retail challenges of tomorrow.
Listed on compartment C of Euronext Paris, and eligible for the PEA-PME, HighCo has more than 500 employees and has obtained Platinum status from EcoVadis, which places the Group in the top 1% of companies in terms of CSR performance. and responsible purchasing.

Your contacts

Cécile Collina-Hue Cynthia Lerat
General manager Press relations
+33 1 77 75 65 06 +33 1 77 75 65 16
comfi@highco.com c.lerat@highco.com

Events to come

Publications take place after market close.

2021 annual results: Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Conference call on 2021 annual results: Wednesday March 23, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
Q1 2022 Gross Margin: Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Q2 and H1 2022 Gross Margin: Thursday July 21, 2022
2022 half-year results: Wednesday August 24, 2022
Conference call on the 2022 half-year results: Thursday, August 25, 2022
Gross margin Q3 and 9 months YTD 2022: Wednesday October 19, 2022
Gross margin for the 4th quarter and full year 2022: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

HighCo is a constituent share of the CAC indices® Small (CACS), CAC® Medium and small (CACMS), CAC® All-Tradable (CACT), Euronext® Tech Growth (FRTPR) and Enternext® PEA-PME 150 (ENPME).
ISIN: FR0000054231
Reuters: HIGH.PA
Bloomberg: HCO FP
For more financial information and press releases, visit www.highco.com.

This English translation is for the convenience of English-speaking readers. Therefore, the translation cannot be relied upon to support any legal claim, nor be used as the basis of legal advice. HighCo expressly disclaims any liability for any inaccuracies herein.

  • HighCo CP T4 2021 MB_VDEF_FR


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