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Van de Velde net profit remains same in H1
Aug '08
Van de Velde NV, a leading player in the luxury and fashionable women's lingerie sector, announces the consolidate results for H1 2008.

EBITDA rose 4.6%:
Turnover in the local invoicing currency rose 2.2%. The strong increase in the euro against the UK pound and the US dollar in particular limited the rise in turnover in euros to 0.9% (excluding Eurocorset, which was acquired on 20 June 2008). With the exception of North America, the United Kingdom and the Benelux, turnover growth was below expectation, chiefly due to the generally lower activity in retail.

The gross margin was improved by product mix effects, the impact of the fall of the dollar on stitching costs, lower depreciations on stocks and good control of material costs.

The fixed costs remained under control due to the falling sales costs and stable marketing costs. The sales costs fell, among other things, due to better results in the O&O stores. Turnover growth at the seven O&O stores was almost 20% in the first two quarters.

This resulted in a rise in EBITDA of 4.6% from current activities.

Net profit remains the same due to a lower financial result:
The conversion of assets in US dollars and UK pounds into euros on the balance sheet date negatively impacted the financial result to the tune of 1.4 million euros. The interim dividend of Top Form fell 0.2 million euros due to both a lowering of the dividend in Hong Kong dollars and the fall in the dollar against the euro.

Ultimately, the group result rose 0.3%

The results of Spanish firm Eurocorset will be consolidated in full at the end of the year. Without Eurocorset, growth in turnover for the last two quarters will more or less have an equal profile to that of the first two quarters.

The new sports lingerie line Marie Jo Intense has been introduced selectively and as such the contribution to turnover will be limited in the second half of the year.

The growth in operating profit should slightly exceed the growth in turnover at the end of 2008.

The operating results of Eurocorset will not yet have a positive impact on the group results for 2008.

Other aspects:
The stake in Top Form was raised from 16.37% to 23.31% in the course of August 2008. This rise was achieved at an average share price of HKD 0.5661 / share. The total cost of the transaction was HKD 42.1 million (3.6 million euros). The results of Top Form International will be included in Van de Velde's results using the equity method from now on.

As part of the treasury shares programme, approved by the General Meeting of 25 April 2007, 62,760 treasury shares were purchased up to 27 August 2008, at an average price of 26.20 euros. This purchase was made on a discretionary basis.

Van de Velde NV

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