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MQ continues to capture market shares
Dec '11
Mr Mats Gärdsell, CEO of MQ Holding AB
Mr Mats Gärdsell, CEO of MQ Holding AB
The MQ Holding AB announced Interim report September 2011 – November 2011.

First quarter (September 2011-November 2011)
• Net sales amounted to SEK 380 million (368), up 3.3 percent. Sales in comparable stores fell 1.1 percent (The Swedish Retail Institute Index declined 7.9 percent).
• The gross margin was 62.5 percent (64.5).
• Operating profit amounted to SEK 42 million (54), corresponding to an operating margin of 10.9 percent (14.8).
• Profit after tax totalled SEK 28 million (38), corresponding to SEK 0.80 (1.08) per share after dilution.
• Cash flow from operating activities was SEK 34 million (23).

Events during the first quarter
• Mats Gärdsell assumed the position of CEO on 3 October.
• Peter Karlson assumed the position of Logistics and Sourcing Director on 3 October. Peter is a member of Executive Management Team.
• Two new stores were opened, one in Erikslund in Västerås, Sweden and one on Bogstadveien in Oslo, Norway.

Mats Gärdsell, CEO's statement: We boosted our total sales by 3.3 percent and remain stronger than the market in comparable stores (according to the Swedish Retail Institute Index). The debt crisis, warmer weather and customer restraint resulted in a difficult and challenging market. However, we captured market shares and lost only 1.1 percent compared with the overall market decline of 7.9 percent in comparable stores.

Due to the extremely warm weather in the first quarter, we carried out sales promotion activities on our winter-related products, such as jackets and knitwear, which led to a lower gross margin compared with the year-earlier period. The positive effect of these sales activities is that we ended this interim period with a well-balanced inventory level. The cash flow remains stable.

During the period, we opened two new stores, one on Bogstadveien in Oslo, Norway and in Erikslund in Västerås, Sweden. During the period, MQ's new Savvy Citizen brand was launched in our key stores and the online store Shop Online and was well received by customers.

I became CEO in October and my initial aim was to quickly familiarise myself with the company's business activities, understand the challenges and opportunities, while remaining actively involved in the operations. MQ is an exciting company with immense potential for development. My task now is to continue to work on strengthening our offering.

MQ is one of Sweden's leading retailers of fashion brands. Through a select mix of proprietary and external brands, MQ offers men's and women's clothes with a high fashion content in attractive stores.

The store chain currently comprises 115 stores and the aim is to establish MQ as the leading retailer of fashion brands in the Nordic region.

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MQ Holding AB

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