BERLIN — Douglas Perfumeries grew sales 2.8 percent in the first quarter ended Dec. 31, 2003. Profit figures for the quarter will be released on Feb. 11, its parent, the Douglas Group, said.

This story first appeared in the January 23, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Douglas Group is no longer reporting on a calendar-year basis; instead, sales are tracked according to an Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 fiscal year. Therefore, there are no comparable full year-end figures for 2003, but rather the figures are for an abbreviated fiscal year — Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, 2003.

In that nine-month period, the 769-door Douglas chain generated sales of $1.1 billion, or 863 million euros, up 4.9 percent from $1.01 billion, or 797 million euros, for the first nine months of 2002. All dollar figures are calculated from the euro at current exchange rates. On a same-space basis, sales were flat for the period.

Douglas Perfumeries now operates 349 nondomestic doors in 14 countries, which currently contribute 38 percent of the unit’s sales. Five years ago, Douglas was active in only seven markets outside of Germany, the group pointed out.

The Douglas Group did not release profit figures by division. The group, which includes book, fashion, jewelry and confectionary retail businesses, recorded a loss of $14 million, or 11 million euros, from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, 2003, compared with a loss of $3.8 million, or 3 million euros, in the same period in 2002.

However, earnings from normal business operations for the abbreviated fiscal period rose to $5.1 million, or 4 million euros, compared with a loss of $3.8 million, or 3 million euros, the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to $102.9 million, or 81 million euros, compared with $88.9 million, or 70 million euros, a year ago.

Douglas said it would continue to push international growth in its perfumery division. About 50 new openings are planned in Eastern and Western Europe for the coming fiscal year. The Group did not make sales or profit projections for the fiscal year.