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Family business roundup: Good year for PPR and Heineken, Saputo plateaus and Peugeot Citroen continues to struggle

It has been a week of mixed fortunes for family businesses, with Heineken and PPR riding high, Saputo treading water in its third quarter and Peugeot continuing to flounder.

It has been a week of mixed fortunes for family businesses, with Heineken and PPR riding high, Saputo treading water in its third quarter and Peugeot continuing to flounder.

PPR
In the fashion world PPR, the French luxury goods firm that owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent among others, posted excellent annual results on 15 February.

The Pinault family-controlled company reported a net income rise of 6.3% to €1.4 billion, while revenues jumped 20.8% to €9.7 billion.

Just under 38% of sales were in emerging markets, and 25% of these came from Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan).

Second-generation chairman and chief executive François-Henri Pinault said he also expected strong results in 2013.

PSA Peugeot Citroen
Meanwhile, fellow French family business Peugeot Citroen is continuing to struggle. On 13 February the carmaker, controlled by the Peugeot family, reported a 5.2% drop in annual revenues, from €59.9 billion in 2011 to €55.4 billion in 2012.

It was hardest hit in Europe, where it reported a 14.8% fall in annual sales and a 12.4% decline in new vehicles sales revenue.

In response to continuing bad results the company is cutting 8,000 jobs in France and closing its Aulnay plant in 2014.

Phillippe Varin, chairman of the PSA Peugeot Citroen managing board, said: "The group's 2012 results reflect the deteriorated environment in the automotive sector in France.

"We are going to focus our investments, actively restore our profitability in Europe and reap the benefit from our investments in growing markets."

The Peugeot family controls about 25% of the company. In September 2012 the family was criticised by a senior civil servant in the French finance ministry for allegedly putting personal finances ahead of the company.

Heineken
Elsewhere in Europe, Heineken reported strong annual results for 2012. On 13 February, the Amsterdam-based group reported a sales increase of 7.4% to €18.4 billion. Net profits before interest, tax and exceptional items were €2.9 billion – a 8% increase on 2011.

This was due in part to strong performance in emerging markets, and Heineken’s acquisition of Asian Pacific Breweries, the maker of Tiger Beer.

Heineken also attributed the year’s success to its sponsorship of the highly successful James Bond film Skyfall. It also said acting as official supplier to the London 2012 Olympics had generated high brand visibility and sales.

Saputo
Lastly, Montreal-based Saputo, controlled by the eponymous family, reported flat results in its third quarter, running to the end of 2012.

The Canadian dairy giant’s net profits went up a measly 0.2% in the quarter, standing at Can$130 million (€96.8 million). Earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortisation amounted to Can$212.5 million, an increase of $5.2 million or 2.5%.

Revenues for the three-month period were Can$1.80 billion, an increase of 0.2%. 

Saputo said the rising cost of milk as a raw material was a continuing problem. 

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