From British car dealer Arnold Clark Automobiles to fashion retailers Hennes & Mauritz and Prada, a number of family businesses in Europe have recently posted positive financial results, while Italian carmaker Fiat has seen its sales in the continent drop.
Glasgow-based Arnold Clark, which is controlled by the founding Clark family, said on 28 September that its 2011 profits rose by 2.4% to £51.7 million (€64.7 million), compared to £50.5 million in 2010.
However, revenues at the family business, which is headed by chairman Arnold Clark, decreased by 1% to £2.25 billion during the same period, as it sold 7% fewer cars.
In Sweden, H&M, the fashion retailer controlled by the Persson family, posted an increase in sales for the first nine months to 31 August – revenues were up 11% to SEK103.02 billion (€12.2 billion), the company said on 27 September.
Buoyed by the good results, the company, which also saw profits rise by 11% to SEK15.7 billion during the same period, added that it wants to open 300 new stores in 2012, 25 more than what it had previously planned.
Last week, Prada, the Italian fashion house controlled by the eponymous family, also reported strong results for the six months to 31 July – revenues jumped 36% to €1.55 billion, from €1.13 billion during the same period in 2011, and pre-tax profits increased by 49% to €469.4 million.
The family business, which is headed by the wife-husband team of Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, saw growth in all its markets but particularly in Asia-Pacific and Japan, where sales increased by 44% and 34% respectively.
Fellow family firm Impsa, which is based in Argentina, recently said that pre-tax profit rose 13.7% to $232 million (€179.8 million) during the second quarter to 30 June.
However, the renewable energy group, which is 100% controlled by the Pescarmona family, saw its revenues decrease by 9.3% to $1.07 billion during the same period. This was in part due to a change in the family business’s fiscal year end to 31 December from 31 January.
In contrast, Agnelli family-controlled Fiat said that its sales in the European market were down by 7.5% in July and 8.5% in August. Performance was particularly negative in Italy, the company’s home market, where Fiat’s registrations fell by 21% in July and 20.2% the next month.