By  on January 14, 2009

BERLIN — Douglas Perfumeries, Europe’s largest makeup and perfume retailer with 1,171 perfumeries, said sales in its first quarter ended Dec. 31 gained 4 percent.

At its annual financial press conference in Hagen, the German company said its 445 German doors showed a 4 percent sales rise in 2008 to 916 million euros, or $1.35 billion. Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the corresponding periods.

Perfumeries outside Douglas’s home country, or 726 doors, posted a 14.1 percent gain to 915 million euros, or $1.35 billion, representing half of Douglas Perfumeries’ 2008 turnover, up from 47.6 percent the previous year.

Full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the perfumeries division had a slight uptick to 197 million euros, or $290.7 million from 196 million euros, or $289.2 million in the year prior.

The firm said its fiscal 2008 sales rose 8.9 percent to 1.8 billion euros, or $2.66 billion, and reiterated a commitment to expand in Europe.

The company stated that for fiscal year 2008-2009, “it is possible to increase sales by between 3 and 6 percent and earnings before taxes are expected to lie between 100 and 150 million euros.”

Douglas Group, which also includes bookstore, confectionery retail, fashion and jewelry divisions, saw sales climb by 4.6 percent to more than 3.1 billion euros, or $4.57 billion. Earnings before taxes increased 2.8 percent to 147.1 million euros, or $217 million. The Group opened 141 new specialty stores, bringing the total number to 1,966.

The company said perfumeries will continue to be the group’s top investment focus, with 50 new stores across Europe planned. Expansions and updates for existing Douglas perfumeries also are in the works. Key growth territories are Italy, Poland, Russia and Croatia as well as its home base, Germany.

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