CALIDA Group Half - year 2014: sales double thanks to acquisition

Lafuma Group ©
Sursee (Switzerland), 16 September 2014-- Further improvement in benchmark figures; LAFUMA back in the black.

In the wake of acquiring a 59.9 percent majority stake in the French LAFUMA Group, the newly structured CALIDA Group performed positively in all respects during the first six months of consolidation. Thanks to the acquisition, consolidated sales more than doubled year-on-year to CHF 197.4 million, while the operating result (EBIT) and net result were also much higher. The reorganization of LAFUMA in France is more or less complete, and the enlarged CALIDA Group has now been organized into five divisions.Even after investing EUR 63.1 million to acquire a majority stake in the LAFUMA Group,which is still listed on Euronext, CALIDA Group still has net cash and cash equivalents of CHF 15.3 million.

For the CALIDA Group,the first half of 2014 was dominated by the integration of French sports clothing group LAFUMA and the reinforcement of organizational structures to facilitate management of a business made much larger and more complex by the acquisition.

“We acquired a majority stake in LAFUMA Group, which had been making a loss, as a strategic investment in 2013. We have managed, as planned, to restructure and stabilize LAFUMA quickly and comprehensively. We have streamlined the company and this has already led to a positive operating result in the first half year of 2014,” says Felix Sulzberger,CEO of the CALIDA Group.

Acquisition-driven group growth

The CALIDA Group’s consolidated sales more than doubled as a result of the acquisition,growing by 110.6 percent from CHF 93.7 million to CHF 197.4 million.The operating result (EBIT) increased by 49.7percent from CHF 6.1 million to CHF 9.1 million.

The net result was 16.6 percent higher at CHF 5.2 million. Integration of the newly acquired brands and business units progressed as planned; the reorganization and restructuring of LAFUMA in France is largely completed.

Operating cash flow for the CALIDA Group as a whole was virtually neutral at CHF -0.9 million despite CHF 8.6 million of restructuring costs in France in the first half of 2014 and the seasonal spike in inventories in the middle of the year.

Even after investing a total of EUR 63.1 million in the acquisition of a 59.9 percent stake in the LAFUMA Group, the CALIDA Group still has net cash and cash equivalents of CHF 15.3 million and thus remains net debt-free.

The enlarged CALIDA Group is organized into five divisions:the CALIDA Division, based in Sursee, the AUBADE Division based in Paris, the MILLET MOUNTAIN Group, with its MILLET, EIDER and LAFUMA Outdoor brands, based in Annecy, the OXBOW Division based in Bordeaux and the FURNITURE Division based in Anneyron.

CALIDA Division:Slightly higher contribution to profits

During the first six months of 2014, the CALIDA Division achieved sales of CHF 60.2 million, or 30.5 percent of total consolidated sales at the CALIDA Group.The CALIDA brand thus achieved sales growth of CHF 0.9 million, or 1.5 percent. After adjusting for currency movements, sales grew by 2.3 percent, much higher than the 1.2 percent achieved by the market as a whole.In its own stores, CALIDA saw like-for-like sales increase by 4.9 percent.

This healthy performance was also reflected in the CALIDA brand’s financial result, which made the year-on-year increase in its contribution to group profits slightly larger still.

AUBADE Division:Slight fall in sales

Following five years of uninterrupted growth,AUBADE posted a slight fall in sales of EUR 1.1 million or 4.1 percent in the first half of 2014. Half-year sales came to EUR 26.9 million, or 13.6 percent of overall group sales. While AUBADE’s sales in independent retailers and department stores were around 12 percent lower year-on-year owing to poor consumer sentiment in France, the AUBADE boutiques, of which there are now more than 50, achieved like-for-like growth of 4.3 percent.International sales also fell during the period under review.

Thanks to a good gross margin and rigorous cost management, AUBADE made a significant contribution to the group’s profit for the first six months of 2014 despite the slight reduction in sales.

LAFUMA Group:Streamlining

The LAFUMA Group achieved sales of EUR 85.5 million during the period under review,compared with EUR 96.3 million in the same period of 2013.This EUR 10.8 million, or 11.2 percent, dip in sales is the result of the new strategy that aims to return LAFUMA to a positive operating result. Following a large operating loss of EUR 54.2 million (excluding one-off costs: EUR 4.8 million) for the first six months of 2013, LAFUMA already achieved a positive operating result of EUR 1.5 million in the first half of 2014. Excluding one-off costs,the operating profit came to EUR 1.7 million, which is an improvement of EUR 6.5 million on the first half of 2013.

The turnaround at the LAFUMA Group, which had been making a loss in recent years, has therefore already come a long way.

The largest division in the LAFUMA Group, the MILLET MOUNTAIN Group, posted sales of EUR 41.3 million during the period under review, thus accounting for 20.9 percent of overall CALIDA Group sales.

The OXBOW Division had to be thoroughly restructured. Half-year sales went down from EUR 19.4 million to EUR 15.8 million in line with strategy, but OXBOW is already making a positive contribution to group profits. Its sales accounted for 8.0 percent of the group total.The FURNITURE Division,which produces garden and camping furniture under the LAFUMA Mobilier brand had an extremely positive first half of 2014, with sales rising 5.4 percent to EUR 27.1 million. Exports to other European countries were particularly healthy.The FURNITURE Division contributed around 10 percent of group sales. It is a profitable division and delivers a solid contribution to overall group earnings.

Outlook for the year:confident

With a positive result for the first half year and healthy order books, the much enlarged CALIDA Group is confident about prospects for 2014 as a whole despite the subdued economic outlook.

Further information: CALIDA Holding AG / Felix Sulzberger, CEO/ Tel.: +41 41 925 44 49/ www.calidagroup.com

Source Calida Grolup by press release ©

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