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Strong growth driven by network expansion and acquisitions

  • 02 Jan 17

Recommendation and upside We are initiating coverage on Bastide Group (market cap. of €174m and a free float of 44.79%) with a ADD recommendation and a target price of €26.7 (c. 12% upside). Our upside is driven by the company’s high revenue growth in a dynamic sector, the decrease in cost of borrowing, the increase in margins and the highly growing shareholders’ return. The stock has risen strongly since April to reach its all-time high (€23.25) in early August, and despite this important upside we still believe there is room for another all-time high considering the annual results in early November 2016. Business and trends Bastide Group is a French home medical equipment (wheelchairs, walking frames, specialised beds, etc.) retailer and home care services provider, specialised in small medical accessories, medical product renting and services to keep patients at home rather than hospital. The sector follows a strong and highly predictable growth trend due to the ageing population in France and Western Europe. Bastide addresses its customers through its dense and wide-spread own or franchised shop network (about 70 shops) while it also sells to an important number of establishments such as retirement homes. The services it offers (51% of revenues for services and 49% for retail) are made for patients in need of breathing assistance or nutritional drips. These services are reimbursed by the French social security, where Bastide almost exclusively does business (97% of its revenues in 2015), giving it secured revenues without credit risk. Need to know The CEO and founder of the group, now 76, might soon hand down his position to his deputy CEO who is also his son, and who has been working in various positions within the company for a long time. Even though it seems to be well planned, this could bring upheaval in the family-controlled company (55.21% of the total capital held by the family). Main drivers The company, being well established in France with a wide network, now focuses its external growth on foreign countries like Belgium and Switzerland, but some more might come. Bastide aims to see its deal sizes increase to benefit from a volume effect which is crucial to be the best positioned in terms of pricing power. Since 2010, the company has been fostering its growth thanks to acquisitions, while previously the company was mainly concentrating on opening new shops. These new acquisitions could help it develop new products and access new markets.