Hamburg, 5 July 2012 – In the course of the 25th regular shareholders’ meeting, Bijou Brigitte group announced the interim business figures for the first half of 2012. Group sales totalled EUR 163.3 million after EUR 174.3 million in the prior year, thus within expectations. Due to the tense economic situation, sales in the Spanish and Portuguese segments continued to decline. As a result of worsening economic conditions in Italy sales also declined in this segment. Since the new year began significant impact has been felt from the government’s budget cuts. Consumer confidence in Italy reached an all-time low, whereby unemployment, especially among youth, rose significantly. Sales in the German segment, the strongest market segment in the Bijou Brigitte group, exhibited stable development.

As of 30 June 2012, the store network numbered 1,174 stores (31 December 2011: 1,175). In the first half of the year the focus was above all on a leaner store network in Spain and store renovation throughout the group.

Management board chair, Roland Werner also informed the annual shareholders’ meeting about the major key figures and events of the past reporting year. A dividend distribution of EUR 5.50 per common share was proposed and approved for fiscal year 2011.

Beyond that Roland Werner explained the outlook for 2012. He emphasised that given the current economic events it is extremely difficult to formulate an earnings forecast for the current year. If business continues as it has been in the first half of the year then the group can expect a sales decline for 2012 as a whole in the mid-single digit percentage range and pre-tax earnings between EUR 40 and 45 million.

“We cannot influence the turbulent economic situation in our core markets,” remarked the management board chair. “We want to continue to strengthen our “Bijou Brigitte” brand, standing for competence in costume jewellery and fashion accessories. That includes convincing products and a motivated, service-oriented sales team. Parallel we will significantly accelerate our store modernisation in the current year and introduce or new store furnishing concept faster than planned.”

Detailed business figures for the first half of 2012 will be published in the Half-year Financial Report at the end of August.

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