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Family business roundup: Profits down at Pick n Pay, up at LVMH and Heineken

By Giulia Cambieri

Pick n Pay, the South African retailer controlled by the Ackerman family, has posted a drop in its full-year profits, while two family businesses in Europe have seen their revenues increase in the first quarter of 2012.

Johannesburg-based Pick n Pay said on 18 April that EBITDA fell by 4.2% to 2.07 billion South African rand (€202 million) for the year to 29 February, from 2.16 billion South African rand the previous year.

However, the company added that turnover from continuing operations grew during the same period – it rose by 8% to 55.3 billion South African rand.

Family member and chairman Gareth Ackerman also said he saw a “marked improvement” in the second half of the year, which gave him “considerable confidence” for the current financial year.

In Europe, French luxury goods group LVMH saw its revenues increase by 25% to €6.6 billion in the three months to 31 March, from €5.2 billion during the same quarter in 2011.

In a statement released on 18 April, the Paris-based firm, which is controlled by the Arnault family, added that revenues increased in all its divisions, but were particularly strong in its watches and jewellery unit. This saw growth of 141%, partly thanks to the acquisition of Italian jeweller Bulgari last year.

In the Netherlands, brewery giant Heineken, which owns the eponymous beer brand, as well as Amstel, Foster’s and Birra Moretti, also saw its turnover grow during the first three months of the year – sales were up 6.8% to €3.8 billion during the quarter.

Profit at the Amsterdam-based group, which is controlled by the founding Heineken family, rose by 15.9% to €175 million, compared to €151 million during the same period last year.

The family business said on 18 April it expects to see strong growth in Africa, Latin America and Asia in 2012.