Transition into lucrative brand driven consumer markets - Marchpole

November 19, 2007 - United Kingdom

Marchpole Holdings plc, the fast growing global luxury fashion brand management group which designs, produces and sells high quality clothing and accessories for ten world class brands (Emanuel Ungaro, Ungaro Homme, Jean Charles de Castelbajac (JCC), Jean Charles de Castelbajac/Rossignol, Jean Charles de Castelbajac/Okaidi, Jean Charles de Castelbajac/New Era, JCDC/Lee Cooper, Homebody and Homemummy and Boateng) announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2007.

Financial and Operational Highlights
• Turnover £29.9m (2006: £38.6m)
• Operating profit £1.2m (2006 restated: £5.0m)
• Profit before taxation £0.5m (2006 restated: £4.0m)
• EPS of 1.2 pence per share (2006: 10.2 pence per share)
• Interim dividend 1.1 pence (2006: 1.5 pence)
• Maintains the total dividend distribution at 3.75 pence per share for the year to 31 March 2008
• Significant expansion into lucrative Russian, Eastern European, Middle East and Far East markets
• JCC signs two high-profile partnership agreements and three major distribution contracts:
- Partnership with Lee Cooper Inc, the global denim brand
- Licence agreement with the headwear company, New Era
- Distribution agreement with the Dubai based Chalhoub Group, the leading Middle East luxury lifestyle promoter
- Distribution agreement with The Crocus Group, the major Russian retail and real estate business, and opening of flagship store in Moscow
- Distribution agreement with Coronet, part of the Itochu Group in Japan

• New flagship JCC store in Tokyo
• First long term licence and distribution agreements for Emanuel Ungaro and Ungaro Homme in South America
• Four flagship Emanuel Ungaro stores in Eastern Europe to be opened in Spring 2008
• Strong forward order book showing 60% increase
• Further strengthening of the Board

Commenting on the results, Michael Morris, Executive Deputy Chairman, said:
“'Whilst these results are showing a slow down, the reduction in our level of profitability is a direct result of our growth and expansion way outside of our traditional geographies and modus operandi. This has been a period of transition for the Company as we expand into the highly lucrative Russian, Eastern European, and Far East markets.

The Company is no longer reliant on a single brand, and is now a multi brand global business. Many of our labels are still in relative infancy stages in these dominant, luxury brand driven markets and we believe that our three to five year expansion programme into these markets can deliver value way in excess of what could be achieved with our former business model.

We continue to strengthen the global reach of the JCC label with new distribution agreements in the Middle East, Russia and the Far East. During the period we were also delighted to sign two high profile partnership agreements for JCC. The first agreement is with the world renowned headwear company New Era.

The subsequent agreement is a long term partnership with Lee Cooper to launch two new designer denim lines which will be the first and only premium denim collection offered by Lee Cooper. The brand continues to build upon its success in the USA, a key fashion market, with increased distribution to 60 multi-brand stores including the renowned Bloomingdale’s.

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