The fourth quarter of 2020 saw a return into the black for Grupo SBF, the parent company of Brazil’s leading sporting goods retail chain, Centauro, and the new Brazilian distributor of Nike since December. After six difficult months, due to the Covid pandemic, the public company posted a net profit of 14,593,000 Brazilian reais (€2.2m-$2.6m) for the last three months of last year, 91 percent below the profit of the year-ago period.

Centauro’s physical stores, which remained more or less stable at a total of 211 unit for the year, were allowed to re-open in October after a six-month retail lockdown.

The group’s quarterly revenues, which also include the accelerating NWB sport media business, rose by 31.2 percent to BRL 1,398,503,000 (€210.5m-$249.5m) for this and other reasons. Centauro’s sales were up by 10.9 percent to BRL 1,182.3 million (€177.9m-$210.9m), with a drop of one percent in its brick-and-mortar retail stores compensated by a 67 percent jump in online sales to BRL 305.5 million (€46.0m-54.5m).

The Nike Fisia distribution business contributed for the first time revenues of BRL 240.3 million (€36.2m-$42.9m) in December, including wholesale revenues of BRL 116.8 million (€17.6m-$20.8m) and digital revenues of BRL 45.9 million (€6.9m-$8.2m).

The quarterly gross margin slipped by five full percentage points to 43.2 percent, as increased promotional activity drove Centauro’s margin down by 3.5 percentage points to 44.7 percent. Furthermore, Nike Fisia generated a gross margin of only 34.5 percent.

On an adjusted basis, the group’s Ebitda margin fell by 3.5 percentage points to 10.7 percent as compared to the same quarter of 2019. Centauro’s margin was down by 4.1 percentage points to 10.1 percent.

For the full financial year, the revenues of Grupo SBF fell by 6.8 percent to BRL 3,075 billion (€462.7m-$548.5m), leading to a net loss of BRL 112,805,000 (€17.0m-$20.1m) versus a net profit of BRL 309,272,000 (€46.6m-$55.2m) in 2019. Centauro contributed the bulk of the revenues, with its online sales rising by 79 percent to represent 36 percent of the total turnover.

At just 1.7 percent, the group’s adjusted Ebitda margin was 10.6 percentage points below the 2019 level.

On a pro forma basis, Nike Fisia generated total revenues of BRL 2.4 billion (€361.3m-$428.2m) in 2020, and 70 percent of them came from its wholesale business, 10 percent from digital sales and 20 percent from Nike’s physical stores in Brazil.