Wolford Aktiengesellschaft

EANS-News: Wolford reports positive earnings for the first nine months of 2014/15

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9-month report/Report on the third quarter 

- Positive net earnings
- Revenues slightly below previous year
- Strategic refocussing on sound course
- Management Board team complete since January 7
- Full-year target confirmed

 
Vienna/Bregenz, March 13, 2015: Wolford AG, which is listed on the Vienna Stock
Exchange, generated positive net earnings of EUR 4.5 million in the first nine
months of the 2014/15 financial year. Revenues declined slightly by 1.9% to
EUR 121.1 million, but EBIT rose by nearly EUR 5 million from EUR 2.2 million to
EUR 7.1 million. EBIT adjusted for non-recurring income and expenses also
improved from EUR 2.8 million to EUR 4.1 million. The weaker development of
revenues during the first nine months resulted from the previous closing of
unprofitable points of sale and the obviously difficult market conditions during
the second quarter. In contrast, revenues in the third quarter generally matched
the previous year. The sound improvement in earnings resulted from the steady
implementation of optimization measures and from special effects. For the full-
year, management confirms its goal to complete the operating turnaround with
positive EBIT.
 
Third quarter revenues at prior year Level

A relatively slow second quarter and weak November were followed by good
development during the Christmas shopping season. Revenues rose by 4% year-on-
year in December and by 2% in January. EBIT was slightly lower than the previous
year in the third quarter at EUR 3.9 million (Q3 2013/14: EUR 4.5 million),
above all due to higher rental and marketing expenses.
 
Stable retail Business

The development of revenues was also significantly affected by the closing of
more than 20 unprofitable points of sale during the current and previous
financial years, which reduced revenues by EUR 4.7 million. However, the
Wolford-owned retail business was overall stable during the first nine months.
The online business remained on a growth course with an increase of 17%.
 
In contrast, the wholesale business decreased by 4%. This decline resulted from
problems with individual retail partners and from the Ukraine crisis and the
weak Ruble, which not only had a negative effect on Wolford's direct business in
this region, but was also felt through a sharp drop in Russian tourism to the
major European cities. Revenues for the first nine months were positively
influenced by EUR 1.2 million of foreign exchange effects from the increase in
the US dollar, British pound and Swiss franc versus the euro.
 
Different regional developments

The development of revenues in the first nine months differed substantially by
region, in part due to the closing of individual points of sale. Declines were
recorded in Wolford's key markets of Germany (-5%), Austria (-6%) and France (-
5%). Above all in Germany, the fashion trade has been negatively affected by
substantial weakness in consumer spending for months - the branch reported in
part double-digit revenue declines for 21 weeks, which were interrupted by only
two weeks of growth.
 
Business in Wolford's largest market, the US, declined slightly during the first
nine months (-2%), but stabilized recently. Sound revenue growth was recorded in
Italy (+10%) and Spain (+10%), and moderate growth (+4%) in Great Britain. In
Central and Eastern Europe, the Ukraine crisis led to a sharp drop in revenues
(-21%). Revenues on the Asian market rose by 13% due to the opening of new
points of sale and the expansion of the partner business as well as a like-for-
like increase in the retail business.
 
Positive operating earnings and solid balance sheet structure

Earnings showed sound development in the first nine months: adjusted EBIT rose
from EUR 2.8 million to EUR 4.1 million, among others due to the sale of a lease
option. ,,These results were also supported by our steady optimization measures.
We realized EUR 1.8 million of cost savings in the first nine months through
further process optimization in product development, production and logistics",
explained Chief Financial Officer Thomas Melzer. In addition, the sale of non-
core property generated a book gain of EUR 3.4 million, which led to an
improvement of nearly EUR 5 million in EBIT from EUR 2.2 million to
EUR 7.1 million. Earnings after tax rose from EUR 1.7 million in the previous
year to EUR 4.5 million.
 
The balance sheet structure of the Wolford Group remains very solid. Equity
amounted to EUR 79.2 million as of January 31, 2015 (January 31, 2014:
EUR 79.0 million). The equity ratio reached 53%, compared with 55% in the
previous year, and gearing equaled 20% (January 31, 2014: 19%).
 
Strategic refocussing on good course / Management Board team complete

Wolford continues to make significant progress with the implementation of the
strategic refocussing and recently reached an important milestone in the
reshaping of the product portfolio: "The 2015/16 fall/winter collection that was
presented at the end of January was very well received by the trade", commented
Axel Dreher, Deputy CEO, on this recent achievement.
 
The announced closing of unprofitable points of sale was contrasted by the
opening of new locations in key strategic cities like Barcelona, Florence and
Frankfurt. Wolford also opened a new flagship store on Munich's Weinstrasse at
the beginning of March. The complete product line is presented on roughly 100
square meters of selling space at this exclusive location.
 
Since January 7, Wolford's Management Board team is again complete - with Ashish
Sensarma as the new Chief Executive Officer who is responsible for marketing and
sales. The Management Board agrees that Wolford must significantly strengthen
its organizational set-up in these areas. "That means we must use our strong
assets - above all our own points of sale - much more effectively in the
future," emphasized Ashish Sensarma, Chief Executive Officer. Thisincludes,
among others, the further upgrading of shop windows and the optimization of
visual merchandising.
 
Goal for 2014/15 financial year confirmed

Based on results for the first nine months, the Management Board confirms the
goal to close the current financial year with positive EBIT. 2014/15 is a year
of transition, and the company's transformation is well underway. The non-
recurring income and the means from cost savings realized through process
optimization are being invested in product development, sales and marketing to
create the foundation for future growth.
 
The report on the third quarter of 2014/15 is available under
company.wolford.com / Investor Relations.
http://company.wolford.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Wolford_Q3-
Report_2014_15.pdf
 
 
Wolford Group Key Data


                                                                         
                                  9 months      9 months
Earnings Data                     05/14 - 01/15 05/13 - 01/14 Chg. in % 2013/14
Revenues               in million 121.13        123.42        -2        155,87
EBITDA adjusted 1)     in million 10.49         8.68          +21       7,11
EBIT adjusted 1)       in million 4.09          2.80          +46       -0,97
EBIT                   in million 7.08          2.16          >100      -4,72
Earnings before tax    in million 6.39          1.26          >100      -5,89
Earnings after tax     in million 4.46          1.74          >100      -2,81
Capital expenditure    in million 8.24          6.06          +36       7,87
Free cash flow         in million 0.79          0.92          -14       -0,97
Employees (on average) FTE        1,567         1,563         0         1.562
                                                                         

 

                                                                
Balance Sheet Data             31.01.2015 31.01.2014 Chg. in % 30.04.2014
Equity              in million 79.22      78.95      0         74,38
Net debt            in million 15.76      15.16      +4        17,04
Working Capital     in million 39.14      35.95      +9        33,72
Balance Sheet total in million 150.51     144.72     +4        138,12
Equity ratio        in %       53         55         -4        54
Gearing             in %       20         19         +5        23
                                                                

 
1) Adjusted for non-recurring income of EUR 3.37 million and non-recurring
expenses of EUR 0.38 million in the first nine months of 2014/15
 
 
 
On Wolford AG

Wolford AG, which is headquartered in Bregenz on Lake Constance (Austria),
operates 16 subsidiaries and markets its products in roughly 60 countries
through 270 monobrand stores (own and partner-operated), approximately 3,000
trading partners and online. The company, which has been listed on the Vienna
Stock Exchange since 1995, generated revenues of EUR155.87 million in the 2013/
14 financial year (May 1, 2013 - April 30, 2014) and has approx. 1,560
employees. Since its founding in 1950, Wolford has become a leading global
manufacturer's brand in the segment of luxury legwear, exclusive lingerie and
high quality bodywear.

Further inquiry note:
Wolford AG
Regine Petzsch
Tel.: +43 5574 690 1359
mailto:investor@wolford.com
Web: company.wolford.com

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     Wolford Aktiengesellschaft
             Wolfordstrasse 1
             A-6900 Bregenz
phone:       +43 (0) 5574 690-1268
FAX:         +43 (0) 5574 690-1219
mail:     investor@wolford.com
WWW:         company.wolford.com
sector:      Textiles & Clothing
ISIN:        AT0000834007
indexes:     ATX Prime, ATX Global Players
stockmarkets: free trade: Frankfurt, regulated dealing: Wien, ADR: New York 
language:   English
 

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