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EBITDA margin stable for organic VDV operations
20
Feb '09
Van de Velde's total turnover growth was 2.1%. This is driven by two different aspects.

• Organic growth (not including Eurocorset/Sarda) fell by 0.8% annually. The first two quarters generated growth of 0.9%; the last two quarters a fall of 2.5%. The main causes of this fall are currency devaluation in growth markets (including United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Scandinavia) and more limited sales in November and December.

• Eurocorset/Sarda generated annual turnover of 10.9 million euros. Only 3.7 million euros of this was included in the consolidated turnover. Eurocorset/Sarda generates most of its turnover in the first two quarters (beachwear collection).
On a comparable basis (“store to store”), turnover in Van de Velde's own shops grew 18%. Intimacy generated total turnover growth of 38%, due to the opening of new stores. Store to store, Intimacy grew 3% in very tough US economic conditions.

EBITDA margin (% of net turnover) stable for organic VDV operations
The operational result before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was 43.4 million euros. This was 44.1 million euros from Van de Velde's organic operations, less 0.7 million euros due to changes to the consolidation base (mainly Eurocorset/Sarda).

The seasonal character of the Eurocorset/Sarda business means that EBITDA is always lower in the last two quarters of the year than in the first two. Only the second two quarters are included in the 2008 consolidation.

Impairment of CDOs have major negative impact on income
The impairment of an investment in CDOs (collaterised debt obligations), purchased in 2005 from and on the recommendation of a leading Belgian bank had a negative impact on financial income.

The investment (3.45 million euros) was impaired by 2.25 million euros to 1.2 million euros, based on realisable value on the closing date. The expected maturity date of these CDOs is between 2013 and 2015.

Slight tax rate fall
Tax was 11.7 million euros or 29.0% of profit before tax. The effective tax rate last year was 29.9%.

Other aspects
The Spanish lingerie company Eurocorset, its retail subsidiary Sul tuo Corpo and the luxury lingerie brand Andres Sardá were acquired on 20 June. This acquisition led to the recognition of goodwill of 6.4 million euros and a rise in intangible fixed assets of 11.0 million euros, due to the purchase of the Andres Sardá brand.

In August 2008 the stake in Top Form was increased from 16.37% to 23.31% at the cost of 3.6 million euros. Top Form was therefore included in the consolidated accounts in accordance with the equity method.

As part of the programme to buy back shares, by means of a discretionary assignment and within the powers granted by the General Meeting, 34,984 shares were purchased within the framework of a stock option plan. In the same way and also within the powers granted by the General Meeting,an additional 269,230 shares were purchased at an average price of 25.2 euros per share and at a total cost of 6.8 million euros. The destruction of 234,230 shares will be proposed to the General Meeting of 29 April 2009. The remaining 35,000 shares cover the share options allocated in 2008.


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