NEW YORK & SANTIAGO, Chile--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has upgraded S.A.C.I. Falabella's Issuer Default Rating rating (IDR) to 'BBB+' from 'BBB'. In addition, Fitch has upgraded all of the company's international bonds. Fitch has also affirmed Falabella's national scale rating at 'AA(cl)' and 'N1+' and upgraded the national scale equity rating to First Class Level 1. The Rating Outlook is Stable.
Falabella Retail. With presence in Chile, Peru, Colombia and Argentina, Falabella is the largest retail platform in Latin America, represented through large stores, both physical and online, where it sells products for personal and household use, featuring strong private labels, exclusive international brands, as well as local and second-class brands. SHOP NOW Handbags. SHOP NOW Partywear. SHOP NOW Shoes. SHOP NOW Kids. SHOP NOW Wallets. SHOP NOW Customer Service; Store Locator; Email us We'll reply within 24 hours; Call Us 1-833-243-1773 Mon-Fri 9 am - 11 pm EST; Sign up for Updates. Bullyland 62700 Falabella with driver Sophie. Innovative Kids Falabella. Papo 51542 Falabella. Schleich 13278 Falabella. Schleich 13687 Falabella Foal.
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Falabella's upgrade reflects the strong operating profiles of all of its business units including retail, real estate and financial services segments. Falabella has demonstrated stable operating results throughout weak economic periods with strong 13% - 14% EBITDA margins and stable cash flow from operations (CFO) generation of approximately USD1 billion over the last four years. Leverage metrics are consistent with upgrade sensitivities on a deconsolidated basis. Free cash flow (FCF) margins are expected to remain negative in low single digits, which is consistent with the company's conservative growth strategy and adequate financial flexibility given the high liquidity of its credit card portfolio. These factors also underscore the affirmation of the strong national scale ratings, which do not move notch for notch with those on the international scale.
The Stable Outlook for Falabella incorporates the view that the company's credit profile and metrics should remain in the current range over the medium term. Gross adjusted leverage, which excludes liabilities related to the financial and real estate business, is expected to remain around 2.5x, considering the integration of Maestro Peru S.A. (Maestro) acquired in September 2014. Capex and financial services needs are projected to be funded primarily with the company's internal cash flow generation.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Diversified Business Model
Falabella's multi format business model fits the market profile and demographics of the region and supports more stable margins. Its businesses include department stores, home improvement stores, supermarkets, real estate and financial services segment, which comprises Promotora CMR Falabella S.A. (credit card business in Chile) and Banco Falabella (Chile). Falabella's strong positioning of its retail formats and brands combined with a solid asset quality of its private credit card 'CMR' allows the company to capture significant synergies by increasing product offering to its customer base, while providing critical information on consumption preference and trends.
Geographical diversification is adequate and growing conservatively. Chile and Peru remain responsible for 83% and 91% of Falabella's consolidated revenues and EBITDA, respectively. Falabella also operates in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and recently, Uruguay. Exposure in Argentina and Brazil is very limited comprising 4% and 0% of EBITDA, respectively.
Solid Investment Grade Credit Metrics
Falabella's credit metrics on a deconsolidated basis are consistent with the new rating category; excluding financial operations and real estate business, the retail-only gross adjusted debt/EBITDAR (gross adjusted leverage) was approximately 2.6x and is expected to remain between 2.5x to 3.0x. Leverage metrics at the company's real estate business are also consistent with the new rating category on a stand-alone basis at approximately 5.4x. The financial services business is also well capitalized and the credit portfolios are performing in line with expectations. The credit quality of the bank and CMR are linked to the strength of Falabella's retail operation given the integration of the business, including banking operations in retail locations and retail sales driving growth in credit products and services.
On a consolidated basis, gross adjusted leverage (excluding regulated banking operations) increased to 3.7x after the acquisition of the home improvement company Maestro Peru. Fitch expects this leverage ratio to remain below 4.0x over the next 24 - 36 months, which provides Falabella's flexibility to grow organically and defend its leading position in the region. Falabella's consolidated adjusted debt (on-balance and off-balance) was near USD10.2 billion as of March 31, 2015. Total consolidated on-balance debt was USD8.7 billion and was composed mostly of bank loans, public debt, financial leases and bank deposits.
Negative But Manageable Cash Flow
Falabella's moderate growth in the region is expected to continue limiting free cash flow (FCF) generation, as capital expenditures and working capital requirements continue to be high, particularly for the financial services business. Despite the negative FCF, Falabella has demonstrated its financial flexibility by restricting its investment pace during periods of lower economic growth. Falabella's financial strategy is mainly focused on supporting organic growth of retail, real estate and financial retail businesses. During the LTM ended March 31, 2015, the company generated negative FCF of USD271 million due to USD1.1 billion of capex and USD303 million in paid dividends. The company's FCF margin is expected to remain negative in the low-single digits in the medium term. It was -2.1% during LTM March 2015.
Solid Credit Card Portfolio
CMR's risk is positively incorporated into Falabella's rating. Promotora CMR Falabella S.A. (CMR) exhibits good profitability and performance throughout the cycle due to its solid margins, sound cost efficiency and good credit risk management. Past due loans represented 2.2% of gross loans as of March 31, 2015 (2.4% in 2014), while debt restructuring represented only 4.3%. CMR's total reserves are 3.74% of total gross loans as of March 2015 and provide ample coverage for total expected losses; net charge-offs reached 4.1% (4.0% as of March 2014). These levels are considered adequate.
Equity Rating in Level 1
The upgrade in Falabella's equity rating considers the long and consolidated track record in the Chilean stock exchange, and Falabella's strong credit profile and the conservative risk management of its businesses. While the float of the company's stock is at the lower end of the range for the Level 1 category, the company's relevant size, financial strength compare well with other Level 1 rated peers, particularly several banks.
Fitch's key assumptions within the rating case for Falabella include:
Falabella Drivers Test
--EBITDA margin remains in the 13% range;
--Annual free cash flow (FCF) margin sustained negative in low single digit;
--Capex of USD4 billion up to 2018
--Gross adjusted leverage - including retail, shopping malls and financial operations - below 5x on a sustained basis;
--Gross adjusted leverage - excluding real estate (shopping malls) and financial operations - between 2.0x to 3.0x on a sustained basis;
Negative: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a negative rating action include:
--Significant deterioration in the credit quality of the company's credit card and banking businesses;
--FCF consistently reaching levels around -15% of revenues;
--Gross adjusted leverage - excluding banking and credit card operations and real estate businesses - remain consistently above 3.0x.
Positive: Although at this time unlikely, Fitch may take a positive rating action if a combination of the following factors takes place:
--Gross adjusted leverage - excluding banking and credit card operations and real estate businesses - remain consistently below 2.0x;
--Positive free cash flow (FCF) generation after capex & dividends;
--Liquidity ratio, measured as FCF plus cash and marketable securities over debt service coverage, consistently in excess of 1.25x.
Liquidity is adequate for the rating category. Falabella's main sources of liquidity are internal generation consisting of USD1.1 billion of CFO during the LTM ended March 31, 2015. Cash and equivalents of USD755 million and a short-term receivables portfolio of USD5.9 billion further bolster the company's liquidity; the short-term credit card receivables are highly liquid and are financed with short term debt. During the next 9-month period ending in December 2015 and 2016, the company faces debt maturities of USD 824 million and USD286 million, respectively. The company's liquidity ratio, measured as FCF plus cash and marketable securities over debt service coverage was 0.6x as March 31, 2015; including credit card receivables in the calculation the ratio increases to 5.5x. Refinancing risk is low due to the company's financial flexibility resulting from its CFO generation, credit card portfolio and ample capital market access.
Fitch takes the following rating actions:
--Local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) upgraded to 'BBB+' from 'BBB'
--Foreign currency IDR upgraded to 'BBB+' from 'BBB';
--USD400 million unsecured bonds due in 2025 upgraded to 'BBB+' from 'BBB';
--USD500 million unsecured bonds first tranche due in 2023 upgraded to 'BBB+' from 'BBB';
--CLP94,500 million unsecured bonds second tranche due in 2023 upgraded to 'BBB+' from 'BBB';
--Long-term national scale rating affirmed at 'AA (cl)';
--Bonds No. 468, series F affirmed at 'AA(cl)';
Falabella Drivers License
--Bonds No. 579, series J affirmed at 'AA(cl)';
--Bonds No. 395, series K and L affirmed at 'AA(cl)';
--Bonds No. 467, series M affirmed at 'AA(cl)';
--Bonds No. 395 affirmed at 'AA(cl)';
--Bonds No. 467 affirmed at 'AA(cl)';
--Bonds No. 468 affirmed at 'AA(cl)';
--Bonds No. 579 affirmed at 'AA(cl)';
--Bonds No. 578 affirmed at 'AA(cl)';
--Commercial paper instruments No. 028 affirmed at 'AA(cl)'/'N1+ (cl)';
--Commercial paper instruments No. 035 affirmed at 'AA(cl)'/'N1+ (cl)';
--Commercial paper instruments No. 036 affirmed at 'AA(cl)'/'N1+ (cl)';
--Commercial paper instruments No. 037 affirmed at 'AA(cl)'/'N1+ (cl)';
--Commercial paper instruments No. 038 affirmed at 'AA(cl)'/'N1+ (cl)';
--National equity rating upgraded to Level 1 (cl) (Primera Clase Nivel 1) from Level 2.
Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com
Corporate Rating Methodology - Including Short-Term Ratings and Parent and Subsidiary Linkage (pub. 28 May 2014)
Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form
Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form
|Carlo Solari Donaggio, (Chairman)|
Gaston Bottazzini, (CEO)
|Revenue||US$ 14.6 billion (2017)|
|US$ 828.9 million (2017)|
Number of employees
Falabella is a Chileanmultinational company. It is the largest retail company in Chile followed by Cencosud and one of the largest in Latin America. It operates its flagship Falabelladepartment stores in addition to Mall Plazashopping centers, Tottushyper & supermarkets, Banco Falabellabanks, and Sodimac home improvement centers. The company has 491 stores and 42 shopping malls. The stores are divided into 111 department stores branded as Falabella, 251 home improvement stores under the brand Sodimac and 129 supermarkets branded as Tottus. In Peru the company owned the Saga Falabella, listed in the Lima Stock Exchange. It was renamed to Falabella in 2018.
The company is a leading Chilean retailer of apparel, accessories and household products distribution through department stores, specialty stores and malls; the company distributes food through hyper and supermarkets. In addition, the company manufactures textile fabrics and offers financial services (issuance of credit cards, insurance brokerage, bank and travel agency) through CMR (credit cards) and through Banco Falabella. The company primarily operates in markets outside of Chile such as Argentina, Peru and Colombia. It is headquartered in Santiago.
- 1889: Salvatore Falabella opened his first great tailoring store on Ahumada Street, Santiago, Chile.
- 1937: Alberto Solari joined the company, transforming it into an important clothing store.
- 1958: Household products were introduced, laying the foundations for the first department store in Chile, and Ahumada Street became known as 'Falabella Street'.
- 1962: The first store outside Santiago was opened in Concepción.
- 1980: Falabella launched CMR, its own credit card and the first of its kind in Chile.
- 1990: Mallplaza opened its first shopping mall in Chile, Mallplaza Vespucio, in La Florida.
- 1993: Falabella entered Argentina and Sodimac entered Colombia.
- 1995: Falabella entered Peru by acquiring Saga.
- 1996: S.A.C.I. Falabella goes public and its shares begin to trade on the Santiago Stock Exchange.
- 1997: Viajes Falabella and Seguros Falabella created.
- 1997: S.A.C.I. Falabella formed a partnership with Home Depot in Chile, and acquired it four years later.
- 1998: Banco Falabella was formed, by acquiring a license from ING Bank Chile.
- 1999: Falabella.com launched internet sales in Chile.
- 2002: S.A.C.I. Falabella opened the first Tottus supermarket in Lima, Peru.
- 2003: S.A.C.I. Falabella and Sodimac merged, launching the first regional home improvement chain in Latin America.
- 2004: S.A.C.I. Falabella acquired the San Francisco supermarket chain in Chile.
- 2006: Falabella Retail entered Colombia with its first department store in Bogotá.
- 2007: Banco Falabella was launched in Peru.
- 2007: Aventura Plaza was launched in Peru.
- 2007: Sodimac acquired 60% of the Imperial home improvement chain in Chile.
- 2008-09: CMR formed a partnership with Visa in Peru and Chile. Then formed a partnership with MasterCard in Argentina and Colombia in 2011.
- 2009: Homy was launched in Chile.
- 2011: Banco Falabella was launched in Colombia.
- 2012: Mallplaza opened its first shopping mall in Colombia.
- 2013: S.A.C.I. Falabella entered Brazil by acquiring 50.1% of the Dicico home improvement chain.
- 2013: Móvil Falabella was launched in Chile.
- 2014: Sodimac acquired the Maestro home improvement chain in Peru.
- 2014: Hiperbodega Precio Uno was launched in Peru
- 2015: Sodimac entered Uruguay by opening its first two stores.
- 2015: S.A.C.I. Falabella opened its first two Sodimac stores in Brazil.
- 2016: S.A.C.I. Falabella was admitted into the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.
- 2016: Separation of Aventura Plaza S.A. in Peru. S.A.C.I.
- 2016: S.A.C.I. Falabella and Soriana signed final contracts to jointly develop Home Improvement (Sodimac) and Financial Services (CMR) businesses in Mexico.
- 2017: The first Falabella-Soriana credit card was issued in Mexico, and the company acquired 50% of Servicios Financieros Soriana S.A.P.I de C.V.
- 2018: in Peru the name 'Saga Falabella' was deleted and the denomination changes simply to 'Falabella' just like in the other countries.
- ^Información Corporativa - Corporate Information fallabella.com, retrieved 8 February 2019 (Spanish)
- ^Annual Report 2017 fallabella.com, retrieved 8 February 2019 (Spanish)
- ^Annual Report 2017 fallabella.com, retrieved 8 February 2019 (Spanish)