Bimba and Lola begin to plug up the wounds caused by the pandemic. The textile group from Vigo (Pontevedra), run by the sisters Uxía and María Domínguez, has almost regained the level of profitability achieved before the Corona crisis in its last financial year (March 2021, as of February 2022) with a turnover of 216.5 million euros. 31% over 2020 but still 5% below 2019. The company’s net profit was €15.7 million, a reversal of last year’s losses, although it has yet to reach pre-pandemic numbers (more than 18 million euros). profit 2019).
The Covid-19 outbreak rocked its business as its sales plummeted 27% in 2020. And the back-to-back waves of the pandemic in 2021 hampered the sales recovery. Last year’s net profit was also impacted by depreciation and extraordinary provisions caused by store closures and the cancellation of the brand’s launch in Russia. “We never got there. Just when there was a planned timeline for openings, they were paralyzed with the onset of war,” company sources emphasize.
The clouds aren’t quite gone yet: high inflation and logistical issues are still hampering a full recovery in trade. However, the decline in infections and the gradual return to normal allowed it to get back on track and continue its expansion plan. The 2021 financial year was marked by the strong recovery in traffic and in-store sales (+54% compared to 2020) and the stabilization of the digital channel, which contributed 22% to total sales.
For Jose Manuel Martínez, CEO, the 2021 results reflect the company’s efforts to move past an extreme period. “They represent a return to profitability that has enabled us to reactivate our expansion and investment plans around the world. We are aware that this year again faces complex challenges at international and local level, but we remain committed to our project to consolidate Bimba y Lola as a global brand,” he said in a statement.
The international growth of the brand also helped her to make her breakthrough. The weight of international sales increased to 38% of the group’s total sales. In February 2021, Bimba y Lola had 271 points of sale in 20 countries and its presence had expanded to 43 countries thanks to the development of its digital channel. Late last year, the group announced its intention to land in China with the idea of opening 30 stores in five years. Entry into this market will go hand in hand with ImagineX, a group for the distribution and management of fashion brands in Asia.
Not all export attempts were successful. In France, according to its CEO, the brand did not deliver the desired results. And in Italy, the textile company gave in. It started with four branches six months before the pandemic, closed them when the crisis began and postponed this market until later. For their part, Mexico, Chile and Singapore stand out among the foreign markets that performed best before the pandemic. The challenge now is to capture the same model in China.