(BFM Bourse) – Giants CAC 40 Shining health emerges despite the outbreak of war in Ukraine and inflation at its height. The heavyweights of the Parisian dimension have already collected nearly 73 billion profits in the first half. This is 24% more than in the first half of 2021. total energyAnd the Arcelor MetalAnd the Engy or LVMH They were especially distinguished during this period.
Nothing stops the growth of large French companies: despite the war in Ukraine and record inflation, the CAC 40 It already accumulated nearly $73 billion in profits in the first half according to an AFP count Thursday, thanks in particular to luxury and a surge in raw materials.
At the moment, 38 companies in CAC 40an index that brings together the largest French market capitalization from various sectors, has published its results, the railway manufacturer Alstom and psychiatrist Pernod Rijkaard Having an overlapping fiscal year. They made a profit of 24% compared to the first half of 2021, when these same companies made a profit of 58.8 billion, whileEurofins Scientific was not in scope CAC 40.
Therefore, major French groups have largely recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic and continued to grow despite the outbreak of war in Ukraine at the end of February, leading to increased inflation linked to the economic recovery after periods of blockade. The good health of these groups makes Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire “proud”, not in favor of a tax on exceptional profits, which was eventually rejected after a debate in Parliament.
“It is quite paradoxical because all the components of the crisis were present (…) but the performance is good,” said AFP Bénédicte Hautefort, founder of fintech Scalens, which specializes in digitizing relationships between listed companies and investors.
Materials and luxury at the party
Inflation does not affect all companies in the same way. Regarding raw materials and energy, for example, higher prices have boosted companies in this sector.
Oil and gas giant total energy It more than doubled its second-quarter profit and achieved its best net result CAC 40 Over the half year, more than 10.4 billion euros. It is followed by the second place in the world in the steel industry Arcelor MetalWhich benefited from the rise in steel prices and amounted to nearly 8 billion euros. EngyMeanwhile, France’s main gas supplier, more than doubled its profits to 5 billion euros.
Another heavyweight CAC 40Luxury also emerged despite slowing sales in China, one of its main markets. Because brands have been able to raise prices without losing their customers.
“They rely on wealthy clients who are not alarmed by higher prices,” Mimosa Bojeska, managing director of Monocle Asset Management, told AFP. They also benefited from the strengthening of the dollar against the dollareuro Because their production costs are in euros and they sell a lot in dollars.”
LVMH, dry L’Oreal and L’Oréal saw their combined profits rise more than 36% compared to the first half of 2021, with comfortable profit margins. Meanwhile, the luxury Hermès group announced at the end of July, Profit of 1.64 billion euros in the first half, up 39.7% year-on-year thanks to increased sales in all regions.
‘The hardest part is waiting for us’
For Ms. Hautefort, the overall good performance of CAC 40 It can also be explained by the cost-cutting plans adopted to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, which are still bearing fruit in 2022.
However, some groups suffered the shock wave of the war in Ukraine, such as Renault and others Societe Generale who withdrew from Russia after the outbreak of the conflict. Renault sold its stake in the manufacturer Avtovazwhich especially makes Lada, and Societe Generale In Rosbank, causing the payment of several billion euros.
“The hardest part is ahead,” says Ms Hautefort, who believes the economic context should weigh on business in the second half.
With inflation and rising central bank interest rates, Which increases the cost of credit and thus makes new financing more difficult, some economic actors predict a recession in the global economy.
Evidence of investor mistrust, stock market index CAC 40 It has lost about 10% since the beginning of the year, despite a very positive month of July with the results published. “For some time, all valuations have been going up, but the fundamentals are attached to the markets. However, valuations are still high,” says Ms. Bogiska.
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