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23.07.2019 – 08:14

Wolford Aktiengesellschaft

EANS-News: Wolford AG reduces loss slightly and creates basis for future growth

  Corporate news transmitted by euro adhoc with the aim of a Europe-wide
  distribution. The issuer is responsible for the content of this announcement.

•Slight reduction in loss despite lower revenues and higher investments
•New market image and market offensive in China

Annual Result

Bregenz - July 23, 2019. Wolford AG, which is listed on the Vienna Stock
Exchange, today published its annual financial statements for the 2018/19
financial year (May 2018 to April 2019). Its revenues amounted to EUR 137.22
million and thus fell 8% short of the equivalent figure for the previous year
(EUR 149.07 million). In common with stationary fashion retailers worldwide,
Wolford is suffering from the effects of far-reaching structural change and a
slowdown in growth in West European fashion markets.

Thanks to the sustainable impact of its existing restructuring program, however,
the company fully made up for the EUR 11.85 million reduction in its revenues.
Despite lower revenues, operating earnings (EBIT) showed a slight improvement of
EUR 0.24 million from EUR -9.22 million in the previous year to EUR -8.98
million. Earnings after taxes also improved slightly, in this case from EUR -
11.53 million to EUR -11.10 million. The success of the restructuring program is
reflected above all in the company's personnel expenses, which fell to EUR 60.24
million, down by a substantial sum of EUR 14.97 million compared with the 2016/
17 financial year. Following the measures taken in the past two financial years
to cut jobs in the administration and production departments in Bregenz, the
average number of employees (FTEs) fell by 197 compared with the 2016/17
financial year and now amounts to 1,347 (2018/19 financial year: -86 FTEs).
Notwithstanding substantially higher investments in marketing in the past
financial year, other operating expenses also fell, in this case by EUR 1.19
million to EUR 54.14 million.

Financial structure boosted by successful capital increase

The Wolford Group's equity amounted to EUR 42.72 million at the balance sheet
date on April 30, 2019, EUR 8.82 million higher than the equivalent figure in
the annual financial statements for the previous year. This was due above all to
the capital increase successfully executed in July 2018. The equity ratio rose
to 36%, up from 30% one year earlier.

Course set for profitable growth

Wolford took the 2018/19 financial year above all as an opportunity to lay major
foundations to stabilize its revenues. Since August 2018, the company has
implemented a new window display concept across Europe and introduced a
completely new visual imagery scheme targeting younger target groups in
particular. The new store concept was presented in Amsterdam and Paris at the
beginning of 2019 and is due to be gradually implemented at other locations in
the near future, starting with three stores in Asia. Wolford is also creating
new momentum with its collection. In September 2019, for example, the company
will be launching "ATH_W", its first sports-inspired "athleisure" collection,
onto the market. This has already met with a positive reception from specialist
audiences. Furthermore, the sales organization was optimized to enable sales
activities to be managed by an extended sales team based in the fashion center

Not least, in the 2018/19 financial year Wolford presented a partner for its
planned expansion in China. Studies show that, within just a few years, Chinese
customers will account for almost half of global luxury goods consumption. Not
only that, the market for luxury goods in Asia is expected to grow
substantially. Wolford intends to exploit these opportunities systematically.
The experienced team at its new partner FFBM (Fosun Fashion Brand Management)
should help Wolford to sustainably develop the Chinese market and actively draw
on all distribution channels. In the medium term, the share of revenues Wolford
generates in China should be comparable with that in its existing core markets
of the US and Germany, which currently account for 20% and 15% of revenues

Having said that, the market offensive in China is expected to benefit revenues
only gradually, and that not in the short term, not least since the company has
to maintain a cautious approach in terms of its investments. Against this
backdrop, Wolford has initiated and already partly implemented further
restructuring measures. The company therefore only expects to generate positive
operating earnings once again in the 2020/21 financial year.

The English version of the report will be published on Wolford's homepage in the
coming days.

Earnings Data                          2018/19          2017/18        Chg. in %
Revenues         in EUR mill.           137.22           149.07               -8
EBIT             in EUR mill.            -8.98            -9.22               -3
Earnings before  in EUR mill.           -10.11           -11.43              -12
Earnings after   in EUR mill.           -11.10           -11.54               -4
Capital          in EUR mill.             5.16             1.40             >100
Free cash flow   in EUR mill.           -10.88             1.83             >100
Employees on         FTEs                1,347            1,433               -6

Balance Sheet                       30.04.2019       30.04.2018        Chg. in %
Equity           in EUR mill.            42.72            33.90               26
Net debt         in EUR mill.            19.62            30.09              -35
Working capital  in EUR mill.            31.07            34.59              -10
Balance sheet    in EUR mill.           117.99           114.33                3
Equity ratio         in %                   36               30               22
Gearing              in %                   46               89              -48

Stock Exchange                          2018/19         2017/18        Chg. in %
Earnings per             in EUR           -1.76           -2.35              -29
Share price              in EUR           17.70           19.75              -10
Share price low          in EUR           10.60           11.36               -7
Share price at           in EUR           11.40           13.60              -16
end of period
outstanding           in 1,000.           6,320           4,912               29
capitalization     in EUR mill.           75.59           68.00               11

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

end of announcement                         euro adhoc

issuer:       Wolford Aktiengesellschaft
              Wolfordstrasse 1
              A-6900 Bregenz
phone:        +43(0) 5574 690-1258
FAX:          +43(0) 5574 690-1410
ISIN:         AT0000834007
indexes:      ATX GP
stockmarkets: Frankfurt, Wien, New York
language:     English

Original content of: Wolford Aktiengesellschaft, transmitted by news aktuell