Hamburg, 25 April 2012 – In the 2011 fiscal year, sales revenues in the Bijou Brigitte group of EUR 374.7 million nearly reached the prior year’s level (EUR 377.9 million; - 0.9 %). Whereas sales in the economically depressed markets of Spain and Portugal again declined significantly, the Germany and Italy segments grew slightly.

The group’s pre-tax earnings in the amount of EUR 75.1 million underline the company’s earning strength. The decline compared to the prior year’s EUR 84.7 million was mainly due  to reduced sales in Spain and Portugal as well as general cost increases. The 2011 group after-tax earnings totalled EUR 49.8 million after EUR 58.3 million in the prior year and hence slightly higher than expected. Earnings per share totalled EUR 6.31 (prior year: EUR 7.40).   

The management and supervisory board will propose a dividend of EUR 5.50 per common share to the annual shareholders’ meeting on 5 July 2012. This corresponds to a dividend yield of some 7.5 % on the basis of the 2011 share price. Thus the Bijou Brigitte share remains one of the most profitable in Germany.

In the context of the international expansion strategy, 60 new stores were opened in 2011. 55 were renovated and furnished with the current store design. 52 shops were closed to optimise the store network structure. As of the end of 2011, the store network comprised 1,175 shops. In the past fiscal year, the first shops were opened in Belgium and Norway both launched successfully. More openings are planned for these countries in 2012.

The first quarter of 2012 started with EUR 72.5 million in sales, 4.9 % lower than the same quarter last year (EUR 76.2 million). The decline was primarily due to continued reductions in sales revenues from the Spain and Portugal segments. Since the beginning of the new year, the initial impact of the Italian government’s measures to cut expenditure have been noticeable. Consumers react to this development in correspondingly restrained purchasing. The group recorded a slight increase in sales in Germany during the first quarter.

Based on estimated inventory value, the extrapolated group pre-tax earnings for the first quarter of 2012 totals EUR 4.2 million, following the previous year’s EUR 7.0 million. General cost increases burdened the overall growth in sales for the first quarter disproportionately.

The focus of investment for fiscal year 2012 will be modernisation and expansion of the group network in the core markets.

Beyond that Bijou Brigitte has prepared a catalogue of measures to be pursued in the long-term to counter the weaker business development.

“Above all, the principal objective is to strengthen the Bijou Brigitte brand with the core message – competence in costume jewellery and fashion accessories”, according to management board chair, Roland Werner. “Persuasive products and motivated, service-oriented staff form the basis.”

The complete consolidated financial statements as well as the annual financial statements for Bijou Brigitte modische Accessoires AG for fiscal year 2011 will be published on the company’s website under on 26 April 2012. Further information as to the first quarter of 2012 will be announced in the interim notice to be published on 10 May 2012.

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