Wolford Aktiengesellschaft

EANS-News: Wolford Aktiengesellschaft
Detailed Business Results Presented for the First Quarter of 2016/17


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quarterly report

o Decline in revenues
o Operating earnings (EBIT) clearly below the prior-year level
o New guidance already announced for the 2016/17 financial year
o Medium-term business targets confirmed

Vienna/Bregenz, September 9, 2016: Wolford AG, which is listed on the Vienna
Stock Exchange, reported a revenue decline of 18% to EUR 27.74 million in the
first quarter of the current financial year (May 2016 to July 2016). The drop in
revenue equaled 16.9% when adjusted for currency effects, in particular the
decrease in value of the British pound. Operating earnings (EBIT of EUR -8.28
million vs. EUR -3.04 million in Q1 2015/16) and earnings after tax (EUR -8.22
million vs. EUR -2.55 million in Q1 2015/16) were also considerably below the
prior-year quarter and management's expectations. Against this backdrop and in
the light of the ongoing market weakness in August, the company already revised
its forecast for the entire financial year on August 31, 2016, but reaffirms its
medium-term business targets.

Difficult market environment

The weak first-quarter revenue development can be mainly attributed to the
difficult market environment. Negative events in important core markets (e.g.
political uncertainty before elections in the USA, fear of terrorism in France
and Germany, the BREXIT decision) resulted in clearly lower customer frequency
in central shopping locations. In particular, this impacted Wolford's high
margin retail business, where revenue fell by 9% compared to the previous year.

A good half of the revenue decrease of EUR 6.2 million in the first quarter was
due to the new delivery timing in the wholesale business. The new scheduling
calls for a large part of the fall/winter collection to be delivered first in
September. Accordingly, the first-quarter figures did not include revenues from
so-called pre-season orders totaling EUR 3.19 million which are now shifted to
subsequent quarters. On balance, revenue of the wholesale segment fell by 32% in
the first quarter of 2016/17. Wolford's own online business matched the same
strong level of the previous year.

Weak customer frequency in core markets

The company suffered from a double-digit revenue decrease in its core markets
i.e. in the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy. A
single-digit drop in revenue was reported for Belgium, Austria and the
Netherlands. Revenue also fell in Central and Eastern Europe, not least as a
consequence of the difficult situation on the Russian market. 

Clearly negative EBIT and earnings for tax

The revenue decline was also reflected in the operating earnings of Wolford AG.
Moreover, the company was faced with negative currency effects as a result of
the drop in value of the British pound. This was accompanied by general salary
increases which largely offset the effect of a moderate reduction in the number
of employees. The Wolford Group employed an average of 1,557 employees (FTE) in
the first quarter of 2016/17, compared to 1,583 in the prior-year period. 
 
Wolford's operating earnings (EBIT) totaled EUR -8.28 million in the first three
months of the current financial year, compared to EUR -3.04 million in the first
quarter of the previous year. EBIT in the prior-year period benefited from the
sale of non-core rental apartments (other operating income to the amount of EUR
1.09 million). Adjusted for this special effect, EBIT in the first quarter of
2016/17 was EUR 4.14 million below the previous year. 

First-quarter earnings before tax amounted to EUR -8.44 million, compared to the
prior-year level of EUR -3.33 million. The income tax expense totaled EUR 0.22
million (previous year: EUR 0.77 million), whereby deferred taxes assets in the
first quarter of the current financial year were EUR 0.89 million lower than in
the prior-year period. Accordingly, earnings after tax amounted to EUR -8.22
million (previous year: EUR -2.55 million). Earnings per share equaled EUR -
1.67, down from EUR -0.52 in the first quarter of 2015/16.

Equity ratio of 41%

Equity of the Wolford Group at the balance sheet date amounted to EUR 59.94
million, comprising a drop of    EUR 12.53 million from the first quarter of the
previous financial year. The equity ratio was 41% at the reporting date
(previous year: 48%), and net debt totaled EUR 35.59 million (previous year: EUR
25.98 million). The higher level of debt was primarily due to the build-up of
inventories as a result of the later delivery timing for the fall/winter
collection.

Stronger foundation for medium-term revenue growth

Notwithstanding the weak business results generated in the first quarter,
Wolford has continued over the past months to resolutely implement its planned
measures designed to enhance profitability, strengthening the foundation for
systematically increasing revenues in the future. Most recently, the sales
organization for the EMEA region was completely restructured and a new B2B
platform for EMEA went live. The company not only expects these measures to
generate substantial efficiency gains in its sales activities but also higher
revenues in the wholesale segment. 

On September 7, 2016, Wolford presented its new shop concept on time at the
Berlin store, which met with a very positive response. Wolford will also be
showcasing a new look in the most important department stores in the German
capital. A new wholesale furniture concept will be rolled out throughout the
entire EMEA region in November of this year. The launch of the new B2C platform
will take place at the end of September as scheduled. 
In the light of the company's business development over the last few months,
Wolford will also accelerate selected measures to improve earnings. For this
reason, restructuring costs are expected to be somewhat higher than originally
forecast.

"In order to achieve our medium-term margin targets, the speedier implementation
of the approved measures will take precedence over the short-term objective of
generating positive operating results at the end of this financial year",
explains Wolford CEO Ashish Sensarma.

Outlook

Against the backdrop its first-quarter results and the ongoing market weakness,
Wolford already revised its outlook for the current 2016/17 financial year.

The Wolford Group now anticipates stagnating or slightly lower revenue for the
2016/17 financial year compared to the prior-year performance, and negative
operating earnings in the lower single digit million euro range. Implementation
of the package of measures aimed at sustainably increasing revenue and
profitability and the creative realignment of the company are proceeding on
schedule. In addition, the cost-cutting drive is being further accelerated,
which should have a perceptible impact on earnings starting in the upcoming
2017/18 financial year. For this reason, the company reaffirms its medium-term
planning targets.

The Report on the First Quarter of 2016/17 can be viewed and downloaded in the
Investor Relations section of the company's website at company.wolford.com:
http://company.wolford.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Wolford_Q1-Report_2016_17_EN.pdf


                                
Earnings Data           05 - 07/16       05 - 07/15       Chg. in %     2015/16
Revenues in EUR mill.   27.74           33.98           -18             162.40
EBIT    in EUR mill.     -8.28          -3.04           >100            1.55
Earnings before tax     
in EUR mill.            -8.44            -3.33          >100            0.62
Earnings after tax      
in EUR mill.            -8.22            -2.55          >100            -6.19
Capital expenditure
in EUR mill.            2.69            1.99            +35             7.30
Free cash flow
in EUR mill.            -14.65           -8.76          +67             -2.35
Employees
(on average)    FTE     1,557           1,583           -2              1,571

Balance Sheet Data        31.07.2016      31.07.2015      Chg. in %  30.04.2016
Equity  in EUR mill.      59.94           72.47           -17              68.15
Net debt        
in EUR mill.              35.59           25.98           +37             20.86
Working capital
in EUR mill.              48.72           39.76           +23             43.15
Balance sheet total
in EUR mill.              145.86          150.58           -3             139.25
Equity ratio in %          41              48              -15             49
Gearing in %               59              36              +64             31

Stock Exchange Data         05 - 07/16       05 - 07/15   Chg. in %  2015/16
Earnings per share in EUR   -1.67            -0.52        >100          0.21
Share price high in EUR     25.70           23.98         +7           24.12
Share price low in EUR      24.49           22.05         +11          18.75
Share price at end of period
in EUR                      25.60           22.37         +14          24.00
Shares outstanding (weighted)   
in 1,000                    4,912           4,900          +1          4,900
Market capitalization (ultimo)
in EUR mill.                128.00          111.85        +14         120.00


About Wolford AG
Wolford AG, which has its headquarters in Bregenz on Lake Constance (Austria),
has 16 subsidiaries and markets its products in more than 60 countries via 262
mono-brand points of sales (company-owned and partner-operated), around 3,000
distribution partners, and online. Listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since
1995, in the 2015/16 financial year (May 1, 2015 - April 30, 2016) the company
had around 1,570 employees and generated revenues of EUR 162.4 million. Founded
in 1950, Wolford has since grown to become the leading global brand for
luxurious legwear, exclusive lingerie, and high-quality bodywear.

Further inquiry note:
Wolford AG
Maresa Hoffmann
Referentin Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Tel.: +43 5574 690 1258
investor@wolford.com | 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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