Hamburg, 29 April 2015 – The Hamburg-based fashion jewellery company achieved Group sales of EUR 335.1 million in the 2014 financial year, 6.0% down on the previous year’s figure of EUR 356.3 million. This meant a shortfall against the sales forecast made in the previous year (-1.4%). In addition to the general economic trend, the performance of Bijou Brigitte was primarily decided by development in retail. The retail sector of fashion stores in Germany was unable to benefit from the high consumer confidence in 2014, while the Christmas trade also fell short of expectations. Consequently, the German segment declined slightly. In addition, the economic recovery was muted and not yet sustained in many southern European countries. Sales in the southern European segment fell yet again, and the consumption crisis endured notably in Italy and Portugal. In contrast, Spanish GDP increased steadily in 2014, and private consumption also picked up again. The fall in sales in the Spanish segment progressively slowed down, and the segment earnings before taxes was improved in the reporting year thanks to cost savings.
Group earnings before taxes were above forecast at EUR 40.7 million. The main causes for this earnings trend were lower cost of sales and a decline in other operating expenses due to the costs saved by streamlining the store network. Consolidated net profit after taxes came to EUR 26.3 million, compared with EUR 28.1 million in the previous year (-6.4%). Earnings per share declined from EUR 3.56 to EUR 3.34.
As of the reporting date of 31 December 2014, the domestic and foreign store network of the Bijou Brigitte Group amounted to 1,070 branches (31 December 2013: 1,137). The number of stores was mainly reduced in Spain and the Netherlands. The company’s activities in the United Kingdom have been almost completely finished up. The operating focus in 2015 is on modernising existing outlets and expanding the store network in the company’s core markets. As already announced in the previous year, the most number of store openings are planned in the German home market. The “the P. cookery” concept is to be strategically expanded further.
The Management Board and Supervisory Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting on 2 July 2015 that a dividend of EUR 3.00 per no-par-value share be paid for the 2014 financial year. Based on the closing price of EUR 50.66 at the end of 2014, this corresponds to a dividend yield of 5.9%.
The slightly declining sales trend in 2014 continued into the first quarter of 2015. For the coming financial year, Bijou Brigitte is expecting Group sales of between EUR 315 and 325 million, and earnings before income taxes of between EUR 20 and 30 million.
The complete consolidated financial statements and annual financial statements of Bijou Brigitte modische Accessoires AG for the 2014 financial year were published on the company website at https://group.bijou-brigitte.com today. Information on and key facts relating to the development of business in the first quarter of 2015 will be published in an interim announcement on 7 May 2015.