Group figures for fiscal year 2009 / Dividend proposal: EUR 6.50 EUR plus a bonus of EUR 0.50 per common share / Outlook for business in 2010.
Hamburg, 29 April 2010 – In fiscal year 2009, Bijou Brigitte Group increased its sales by EUR 14.4 million from EUR 375.7 million to EUR 390.1 million. The growth in sales resulted from international shop expansion. The shop network increased from 1,085 stores to 1,125. On the other hand like-for-like sales declined by 3.5 %. Pre-tax earnings in 2009 totalled EUR 108.9 million (prior year: EUR 117.4 million). The impact of the worldwide financial and economic crisis in 2009 meant that the group after tax profits were unable to improve on the record earnings of the prior year. The group profit of EUR 75.4 million lay EUR 7.1 million below the prior year’s result of EUR 82.5 million. The poor economic conditions led to decline in sales and earnings especially in Spain. Earnings per share totalled EUR 9.56. The supervisory board and executive management propose retention of the dividend level of the past three years, EUR 6.50, and due to the enterprise’s sound liquidity, declaration of a EUR 0.50 bonus per share. The proposal for dividend distribution will be submitted to the annual general meeting on 15 July 2010. First quarter sales exhibited growth of 3.4 % to EUR 78.5 million. Like-for-like sales dropped by 2.0 %. The Group plans to continue its international expansion strategy in the current fiscal year with 65 store openings. In the first quarter, Bijou Brigitte expanded the existing shop network by eight locations, among others opening its first shop in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
In combination with the general rise in costs, decline in sales had a negative impact on after-tax earnings, compared to the prior year dropped by EUR 1.6 million from EUR 8.8 million to EUR 7.2 million.
The epicentre of this decline was Spain, a country particularly hard hit by the real estate and financial crisis in the first three months of the fiscal year. The segment sales and segment earnings decreased accordingly in Bijou Brigitte’s second largest market. Moreover extremely low interest rates in the financial markets led to an interest result significantly lower than in the prior year. On the other hand the German and Italian markets proved especially stable.