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Decathlon halts French decline to post 9% sales growth

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French retail giant Decathlon reversed a decline in its home market to deliver 9% worldwide sales growth.

Global sports retailer Decathlon – owner of the Caperlan fishing brand – increased its worldwide sales by 9% in 2019 and reversed a decline in its main market from the previous year.

The French powerhouse ended last year with revenues of €12.4 billion ($13.3 billion) following the recovery in France, where the group’s business dropped by 5% in 2018, resulting in what is believed to have been the slowest growth rate in a decade and – for the first time – a below double digit increase.

The company said: “In view of the current performance, we considered 2018 disappointing in terms of sales, but last year we remained faithful to our philosophy and corrected some mistakes. There is still a lot to do, but the horizon has been cleared again.”

Currently Decathlon is present in 69 countries across the world, having added nine more in 2019, including markets in the US, Algeria, Malta, Japan, South Korea and Ukraine.

It reported that its number of employees over the year has risen from 87,000 to 93,000.

Among the highlights for 2019 were:

• The company entered six countries in 2019: Ukraine, Japan, Vietnam, Algeria, Malta, Serbia;

• In Germany, 16 new stores were added, bringing the total of German Decathlon retail outlets to 80;

• $555 million was invested by Decathlon in 2019;

• Decathlon has 56,000 shareholder-employees across 44 countries;

• Decathlon joined RE100, a global initiative by The Climate Group that unites 144 large worldwide businesses committed to using renewable electricity to accelerate the shift to a low carbon economy;

• Decathlon committed to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2026 through the production and procurement of renewable energy. The company also released plans aimed at making all of the products it manufactures conform to an Eco Design process by 2026.

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