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Groupe Bikini enters last quarter with good inventory situation

13
Dec '10
Groupe Bikini Village inc reported that, for the second year running, it achieved solid sales in its third quarter of the fiscal year, a quarter traditionally marked by a seasonal slowdown in business volumes. The Company's third quarter 2010 sales performance nearly matched the high standard it had set last year.

2010 third quarter results
Net sales for the third quarter which ended October 30, 2010 were $6.5 million compared to $6.7 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Comparable sales, which compares the sales from the same number of stores year over year, increased by 2% for the quarter.

The Company was able to stem operating loss (EBITDA) for the third quarter at $1.5 million, down $0.4 million from the $1.9 million operating loss (EBITDA) in the same period in 2009, by tightly managing inventories, focusing on full-price selling, and controlling costs. "While the third quarter traditionally presents a challenge due to the seasonal nature of the swimwear business, said President and CEO Yves Simard, Groupe Bikini Village's third quarter results over the last two years demonstrate the effectiveness of these strategies.".

For the quarter ended October 30, 2010, the Company's net loss was $1.5 million (($0.81) per share, basic and diluted), as compared to net loss of $1.8 million (($1.34) per share, basic and diluted) for the same quarter in the previous year.

Results for the first nine months of 2010
Net sales for the nine-month period ended October 30, 2010 were $30.8 million, up from $28 million in the corresponding period of the previous year. Mr. Simard attributes the Company's increased level of sales at the three-quarter mark in the year largely to its efficient and dynamic inventory management strategy, which has allowed the Company to focus on full-price selling and to fully benefit from the improved weather conditions its markets enjoyed in the second quarter of 2010. Comparable sales, which compares the sales from the same number of stores year-over-year, increased by 11.2% in the first nine months of 2010 over the first nine months of 2009.

Groupe Bikini Village delivered positive EBITDA of $1 million in the nine-month period ended October 30, 2010 compared to negative EBITDA of $1.3 million for the comparable nine-month period in the previous year. "The $2.3 million increase in operating income in the three first quarters of 2010 is the direct result of our strategy to tightly manage inventories and control costs – all of which led to a stronger overall gross margin, better store contributions and a reduction in our overhead expenses," Simard said.

For the nine-month period ended on October 30, 2010, net loss totalled $521,000 (($0.37) per share basic and diluted), as compared to net loss of $2.3 million (($1.69) per share, basic and diluted) in the same period of 2009.

Outlook
"The reduction in the Company's loss in the third quarter is solid evidence that the restructuring efforts we have undertaken over the last three years have been appropriate – and are working. The disciplined approach Groupe Bikini Village initiated three years ago has made the Company more competitive, and we are confident and enthusiastic as we look ahead. This approach will remain central to our activities in the months to come, as we continue to focus on sales and profitability," said Simard.


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