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MESSAGE FROM Arnaud Lagardère

 Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Shareholders,

 

First and foremost, I hope that you and those you hold dear are holding up well and are in good health.

Faced with the unparalleled crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and which shaped 2020, our Group was able to react swiftly to mitigate its impacts as much as possible.

Since the onset of the crisis, our primary concern has been to protect the health of our employees across the world. Today, I would like to thank each and every one of our Group's employees for their responsiveness, their adaptability, their hard work, and the exceptional dedication they have shown in ensuring the continuity of our businesses during this unprecedented period.

Strengthened by this collective resolve, we have implemented large scale action plans to address the crisis, and in particular to reduce our costs and preserve cash both at divisional and corporate levels.

These efforts have paid off, as the Group restored profitability and cash generation in the second half of the year.

Impacted differently by the crisis, our two core businesses outperformed most of their respective competitors in 2020. Driven by the resilience of the publishing industry and its diverse international business model, Lagardère Publishing recorded an excellent performance with stable revenue and a 20% increase in recurring EBIT. Whilst greatly affected by the global slowdown in air traffic, Lagardère Travel Retail was able to quickly deploy corrective measures, which, together with its organisational agility, resulted in a very good flow-through ratio of 19.9% in 2020, a benchmark in its industry. Other Activities, Lagardère News and Lagardère Live Entertainment, bore the brunt of the crisis on the advertising market in particular, as well as suffering from the closure of performance venues. However, the teams adapted quickly and creatively to continue to inform and to entertain, all whilst maintaining a sharp focus on controlling costs.

These results underscore the relevance of our strategic model resulting from the refocusing completed in 2020, which is now based on two activities with diverse and complementary business models - a resilient powerhouse in Lagardère Publishing, and Lagardère Travel Retail, the growth engine primed for the rebound once the health crisis is under control - as well as Other Activities, and its roster of strong brands.

This unprecedented period has also demonstrated the importance of our commitment to corporate social responsibility. Going beyond the need for health protection, the Group set up a Covid solidarity fund to support employees and partners who had suffered most from the crisis around the world. We also launched a host of solidarity initiatives, particularly through food and book donations in France and abroad. Lastly, despite the crisis, our Group has continued to roll out initiatives on key topics such as promoting gender equality and diversity, and reducing single-use plastic in our operations.

While the start of 2021 remained uncertain and continued to be marked by the health crisis, the signs of recovery are now increasingly visible and our Group has everything it needs to get back on the path of growth and development.

Fortified by this confidence, I decided to submit a proposal for your approval at the Annual General Meeting, to convert Lagardère SCA from a partnership limited by shares into a joint-stock company with a board of directors.

This renewed governance structure, which I know some of you have been anticipating, is designed to pave the way for constructive and composed shareholder dialogue, and to reaffirm the Group's integrity and managerial continuity, as I would have the pleasure and honour of continuing to lead our Group as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, with Pierre Leroy as Deputy Chief Executive Officer at my side.

This represents an important milestone in the Group's history; an exciting step which I am firmly convinced will create value for all of our stakeholders.

I would like to thank all of our shareholders for their loyalty and support.


 

   
 
Arnaud Lagardère

The group's values

Lagardère's values and corporate culture are founded on two pillars: its rich and varied history and the commitment of the people, past and present, who represent it.

The group's activities

 

Created in 1992, Lagardère is an international group with operations in more than 40 countries worldwide.
It employs some 28,000 people and generated revenue of €4,439 million in 2020.
Since 2018, under the impetus of the Group's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Arnaud Lagardère, the Group has undergone a strategic refocusing around two priority divisions.

 

CSR at Lagardère

By making workforce-related, environmental and ethical issues a central part of its strategy, the Lagardère group intends to support the company's value-creation efforts along with its sustainable and inclusive growth.
Its commitments in terms of promoting diversity, access to education and environmental responsibility are intended to be performance drivers.