BERLIN — In its short 2007 financial year, spanning the first nine months of 2007, taxes and write-offs for divisions it no longer owns drastically reduced net profits 96 percent for the Arcandor Group, while unadjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved 15.1 percent.

In final figures released Wednesday, net profits for Arcandor, the renamed holding company of the former KarstadtQuelle Group, fell to 16.3 million euros, or $21.9 million, from 479 million euros, or $644 million, in the prior year, while EBITDA climbed to 1.2 billion euros, or $1.57 billion, from 1 billion euros, or $1.37 billion. Adjusted group sales for the nine months rose 72 percent to 14.3 billion euros, or $19.2 billion. All dollar figures are converted from the euro at an average exchange rate.

Arcandor confirmed its earnings and revenues forecast for fiscal 2008-2009, calling for sales of 23 billion euros, or $34 billion, EBITDA of 1.3 billion euros, or $1.9 billion, and in a first-ever EBIT forecast, operative earnings of 850 million euros, or $1.3 billion.

The Thomas Cook tourist division now contributes the lion’s share (60 percent) of group sales. The Karstadt department store division (129 doors, including the four unit Premium Group, 28 Karstadt Sport stores, 87 Karstadt Boulevard Plus and Boulevard department stores and Karstadt online) saw EBITDA improve to a loss of 34 million euros, or $45.7 million, from a loss of 35.9 million euros, or $48.3 million, in the prior year. Adjusted divisional sales for the short fiscal year declined 1.5 percent.

The group said the Karstadt Premium stores, which includes the group’s KaDeWe flagship in Berlin, grew sales 5 percent, with online sales up 16.4 percent.

The renamed Primondo mail order division grew sales 4 percent to 2.9 billion euros, or $3.89 billion.

Arcandor said the start into the second quarter of fiscal 2008-2009 (ending March 31, 2008) “was pleasing on year-to-year basis.” The group is expecting the Karstadt division to perform on plan, a continued sales and earnings upturn at Primondo and further growth for Thomas Cook.

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