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14.12.2018 – 07:46

Wolford Aktiengesellschaft

EANS-News: Wolford AG: Detailed Figures announced for the First Half-Year 2018/19

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

Quarterly Report

Bregenz -

* Slightly improved operating earnings despite revenue decline
* Positive second-quarter EBIT
* Successful brand relaunch
* Outlook confirmed

Bregenz, December 14, 2018: Wolford AG, which is listed on the Vienna Stock
Exchange, generated revenue of EUR 62.37 million in the first half of the
current financial year, comprising a decline of 11% compared to EUR 70.15
million in the previous year. The decrease in revenue equaled 10% during the
first six months when adjusted for changes in currency exchange rates
(especially the decrease in value of the Swiss franc and the US dollar). Within
the context of systematically reducing ongoing costs, Wolford managed to
slightly improve operating earnings (EBIT) in spite of the revenue decline and
higher marketing costs. EBIT in the first half of the current 2018/19 financial
year amounted to EUR -5.92 million, compared to EUR -6.18 million in the prior-
year period. Wolford generated a positive second-quarter EBIT of about EUR 1
million. However, as the consequence of a tax payment, earnings after tax
deteriorated to EUR -7.33 million, down from EUR -6.62 million in the first six
months of 2017/18. The revenue decline in the first half-year affected the
company's own retail (-9.3%) and wholesale (-10.3%) business, whereas the online
segment reported a 14% rise in revenue. Wolford's second-quarter business
operations were also negatively impacted by weak customer frequency related to
the long-lasting summerlike temperatures and the late start of the autumn
season. The entire European fashion market was affected by this development.
Revenue of German fashion retailers fell by 13% in September alone.

Declining fixed costs and higher equity Ratio

Wolford succeeded in slightly improving operating earnings in spite of the
revenue decrease and higher marketing expenses. The restructuring program, above
all the systematic reduction of excess capacities and the streamlining of
corporate processes, showed a sustainably positive effect. Personnel expenses
fell substantially by EUR 3.31 million year-on-year to EUR 31.16 million.
Moreover, other operating expenses were down by EUR 2.16 million to EUR 24.45

The equity ratio improved substantially to 39% compared to 29% in the previous
year as a result of the successfully concluded capital increase in July 2018.
The repayment of loans led to a substantial drop in net debt, from EUR 39.15
million to EUR 25.21 million. Accordingly, the gearing ratio was also cut in
half, from 102% to 52%.

Successful relaunch of the brand / New strategy for China on the home straight

Wolford made considerable progress in implementing its new brand strategy with
the objective of increasingly appeal to younger target groups. In addition to a
fashion collection featuring numerous fashion highlights focusing on the core
competence of skinwear, the company also presented further milestones in recent
weeks designed to ensure a consistent brand experience.

The new market presence was introduced within the context of a comprehensive
brand presentation in London at the beginning of November. Since then, Wolford
has been present across the globe with a new visual language both online and in
the display windows of 117 points of sale. In line with the campaign motto
#truecharacter, the Wolford brand presents itself in a playful, emotional and
occasionally provocative manner. Every image of the well-known fashion
photographer Ellen von Unwerth tells a short story and underlines Wolford's
brand claim that women wearing Wolford garments will look good in all situations
in life.

The company will also present its new shop concept in January 2019 in two Paris
boutiques and one store in Amsterdam. "We are creating a modern world of
experience matching the brand promise", explains CEO Axel Dreher. "The modular
concept is flexibly adaptable to local characteristics and is economically
feasible". Moreover, the online shops will already present themselves in a new
look and feel at the end of 2018.

Wolford also made progress in developing a new sales strategy for the important
future market of China. The company will substantially expand its local market
presence there with the support of the new large shareholder Fosun. Details are
currently being negotiated, and a comprehensive solution is expected to be
presented in the near future.

However, the Management Board warns against having overly high expectations
regarding short-term revenue effects and points to the difficult conditions in
the Chinese retail fashion segment likely to prevail for the foreseeable future.
"We continue to be called upon to identify and leverage cost savings potential -
This is and will continue to be an ongoing process", says Wolford CFO Brigitte
Kurz. For example, a current focus is on the issue of procurement optimization.


Wolford confirms its outlook for the current financial year in spite of the weak
revenue development in the first half-year. The third quarter of the year which
traditionally generates the highest revenue has just commenced, the generated
cost savings have proven to be sustainable, and the company is continually
striving to reduce fixed costs. For these reasons, the management continues to
expect positive operating earnings (EBIT) in the current 2018/19 financial year.
However, third-quarter revenue development will be of crucial importance.

The report for the first half-year 2018/19 can be downloaded under, Investor Relations. []

Earnings Data                       05 -10/18 05 -10/17 Chg. in % 2017/18
Revenues               in EUR mill. 62.37     70.15     -11       149.07
EBIT                   in EUR mill. -5.92     -6.18     +4        -9.22
Earnings before tax    in EUR mill. -6.61     -7.36     +10       -11.43
Earnings after tax     in EUR mill. -7.33     -6.62     -11       -11.54
Capital expenditure    in EUR mill. 1.84      0.78      >100      1.40
Free cash flow         in EUR mill. -16.41    -7.88     >100      1.83
Employees (on average) FTE          1,350     1,476     +9        1,433

Balance Sheet Data               31.10.2018 31.10.2017 Chg. in % 30.04.2018
Equity              in EUR mill. 48.16      38.23      +26       33.90
Net debt            in EUR mill. 25.21      39.15      -36       30.09
Working capital     in EUR mill. 43.29      48.65      -11       34.59
Balance sheet total in EUR mill. 123.68     130.68     -5        114.33
Equity ratio        in %         39         29         +34       30
Gearing             in %         52         102        -49       89

Stock Exchange Data                        05 -10/18 05 -10/17 Chg. in % 2017/18
Earnings per share            in EUR       -1.10     -1.35     +19       -2.35
Share price high              in EUR       17.70     21.45     -17       19.75
Share price low               in EUR       12.30     15.92     -23       11.36
Share price at end of period  in EUR       12.30     15.92     -23       13.60
Shares outstanding (weighted) in 1,000     6,631     4,912     +35       4,912
Market capitalization         in EUR mill. 82.65     79.60     +4        68.00

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 690-1268
FAX:          +43(0) 5574 690-1219
ISIN:         AT0000834007
indexes:      ATX GP
stockmarkets: Wien, Frankfurt, New York
language:     English