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Douglas net sales rise by 5.6%
Feb '08
During the first quarter of its 2007/08 financial year (October 1 – December 31, 2007), net sales in the DOUGLAS Group rose by 5.6 percent to about 1.1 billion EUR. Adjusted for the previous year's sales from René Kern and Pohland – both of which have since been divested – sales were 9.3 percent higher.

This gain is partly due to the continued dynamic expansion of the store network, which now comprises 1,873 locations. Like-for-like sales – which only reflect those locations operating during the current and previous years' quarters – were 1.6 percent higher than in the previous year.

The foreign subsidiaries made a very strong contribution to this solid performance with a sales gain of 15.0 percent, primarily thanks to the powerful international growth of the Douglas perfumeries abroad and the Thalia bookstores in Austria. Like for like, the increase outside Germany was 6.6 percent. Sales inside Germany were 1.4 percent higher, producing a marginal decline in like-for-like sales of 0.8 percent. In the previous year's quarter, German consumer spending had been artificially high due to an impending increase in sales tax.

At the end of January, Germany's Federal Office of Statistics reported that domestic retail sales during December 2007 had been lower than in December 2006 – by 4.9 percent in nominal terms and 6.9 percent in real terms. In this context, the DOUGLAS Group once again performed above the market average.

"All in all, we are notdissatisfied with our progress in the holiday season. We may have fallen just short of the good like-for-like sales from the previous year in Germany, but we more than held our own against the competition and further advanced our foreign expansion program," said Dr. Henning Kreke, President and CEO.

Given the rapid pace of expansion, the number of personnel in the Group also continued to rise. As of December 31, 2007, the DOUGLAS Group had 24,000 employees on its books. This is 3.2 percent more than at the balance sheet date of September 30, 2007.

Earnings before taxes (EBT) totaled 140.2 million EUR in the first quarter following 139.7 million EUR a year earlier. Adjusted for the contributions to earnings during the previous year's quarter from René Kern and Pohland, both of which have since been divested, EBT was 3.7 million EUR higher.

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