By  on May 15, 2013

BERLIN Douglas Group AG's net sales rose 1.8 percent to 1.95 billion euros, or $2.55 billion, in the first six months of its current financial year, showing improvements over the same prior-year period that was negatively impacted by restructuring costs linked to the group's Thalia book business. 

Adjusted for currency effects, group revenues rose 1.6 percent.

For the six months ended March 31, the Hagen, Germany-based company, whose retail activities include Douglas Perfumeries, plus books jewelry, fashion and confectionery businesses, registered earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) up 25.8 percent to 180.7 million euros, or $236.5 million. The EBITDA margin was 9.3 percent, versus 7.3 percent in the same prior-year period that was affected by Thalia restructuring costs, the company said.

All dollar figures are converted at average exchange for the period to which they refer.

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Group domestic revenues grew 1.5 percent to 1.32 billion euros, or $1.73 billion, while international sales gained 2.3 percent to 633.7 million euros, or $829.3 million. Revenues abroad made up 32.5 percent of overall sales, while online revenues accounted for about 8 percent of company sales. Retail performance in the period was boosted by the earlier Easter holiday.

Douglas Perfumeries’ 1,174 doors generated revenues of 1.1 billion euros, or $1.44 billion, up 3.4 percent. The firm's 440 German perfumeries registered a sales rise of 4.2 percent to 601.7 million euros, or $787.4 million, while its 734 international shops’ revenues advanced 2.5 percent to 499.8 million euros, or $654 million. Positive developments were seen in Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Turkey and the Baltic States, while sales dipped in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Croatia. Douglas Perfumeries’ EBITDA rose 4.8 percent to 117.2 million euros, or $153.4 million.

In the six-month period, Douglas Group invested 26.3 million euros, or $34.4 million, in new stores and store expansion, with efforts focusing on the perfumery sector. Fifteen new perfumeries were opened between October and March, primarily in international markets. At the same time, some doors in the perfumery and book divisions were shuttered.

Recovering somewhat from restructuring, Douglas Group's ailing Thalia book chain generated sales of 511.5 million euros, or $669.3 million, down 0.3 percent on-year.

"The current development is in line with our expectations," said Henning Kreke, president and chief executive officer of Douglas Holding, Douglas Group’s parent company.

Douglas also confirmed its forecast for the full fiscal year of a slight increase in sales and an EBITDA higher than that of the previous year.

As reported, Douglas Holding was taken over by Advent International in a transaction completed in January.

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