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DOUGLAS perfumeries sales gain in Poland
Aug '08
During the first nine months of its 2007/08 fiscal year (October 1, 2007 - June 30, 2008), the net sales of the DOUGLAS Group rose by 4.6 percent to more than 2.4 billion EUR over the previous year. Portfolio-adjusted (exclusive of previous year's sales from René Kern and Pohland - both of which have since then been divested), the DOUGLAS Group posted sales growth of 8.4 percent. Like-for-like sales - which only reflect those locations operating during the current and previous year's period - were 1.9 percent higher than in the previous year.

In Germany, sales increased by 0.1 percent to 1.57 billion EUR in the first nine months. Portfolio-adjusted for prior year sales from the divested Pohland and René Kern stores, sales increased by 5.5 percent. Like-for-like on a nine-month basis, this translates into a sales gain of 0.4 percent.

Foreign sales were up 14.0 percent to 845.7 million EUR in the first nine months primarily thanks to the powerful international growth of the Douglas Perfumeries and the positive development of the Thalia bookstores in Austria. Like-for-like, the increase outside of Germany was 4.8 percent.

Earnings before taxes (EBT) of the DOUGLAS Group reached 136.7 million EUR for the first nine months of 2007/08 following 133.8 million EUR last year. Group net income stood at 87.6 million EUR compared to 88.2 million EUR the year before. Earnings per share remained virtually unchanged at 2.23 EUR (2.24 EUR).

"On the whole, we are quite satisfied with our progress to date. But we have noticed that many consumers are not so quick to spend their euros. However, priority in savings is being placed on long-lived goods such as automobiles or home renovations. Many of our customers are still willing to enjoy an essence of luxury offered at our stores, because they want to give themselves and others a small treat," commented Dr. Henning Kreke, President and CEO.

Number of employees and stores continue to grow:
The number of employees for the DOUGLAS Group stood at 23,675 on June 30, 2008 or 1,262 more than as of June 30, 2007. Portfolio-adjusted (excluding René Kern and Pohland), this correlates to 1,710 new jobs, of which 399 are in Germany.

At the start of the new training year in August and September, approximately 560 young apprentices will commence their training at the DOUGLAS Group in Germany. This number is once again above the prior year's high level. With the total number of trainees of about 1,500 in Germany and a trainee ratio of almost 13 percent, the DOUGLAS Group continues to be significantly above the industry average of about 7 percent.

In the first nine months of 2007/08, the capital expenditures volume of 103.1 million EUR was higher by 2.9 million EUR over the previous year's figure. In all, investments were directed at 104 new openings as well as in the modernization and expansion of the existing store network. The main focus of capital expenditures was placed on the 78 new Douglas Perfumery stores, which have accelerated their organic growth. The DOUGLAS Group's store network totaled 1,902 as of June 30, 2008 following 1,760 a year earlier.

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