Arcandor AG

  • WKN: 627500
  • ISIN: DE0006275001
  • Land: Germany

Nachricht vom 04.08.2004 | 08:00

KarstadtQuelle: Restructuring progr. being implemented; sales and earnings...

Ad-hoc-announcement transmitted by DGAP.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

----- KarstadtQuelle AG: Restructuring progr. being implemented; sales and earnings expectations adjusted The KarstadtQuelle Management Board will take extensive measures in the third quarter of 2004 on the basis of the outcomes of a comprehensive corporate appraisal. Their main thrust will be the clear refocusing of the KarstadtQuelle Group on its retailing operations. They will mainly include a fast programme to stabilise sales, stringent cost management, the improvement of the gross margin, disinvestments, portfolio adjustments and the transformation of the department store and universal mail order business models. These measures will additionally and have a one-off impact on earnings in the third quarter of 2004, but, if achieved as expected, will on balance have no significant effect on the liquidity position of the group in the 2004 financial year. The aim of the package of measures is the consistent restructuring and reorientation of the KarstadtQuelle Group to put it back squarely on the road to growth and profitability in the coming years. As announced, the Management Board will present this new strategic orientation to the public at the end of September of the current year. KarstadtQuelle Group sales decreased by 6 % to 6.87 bill. EUR in the first half of 2004 (previous year: 7.31 bill. EUR). In the first six months group operating (adjusted) EBTA amounted to minus 388.5 mill. EUR (previous year: minus 289.3 mill. EUR). This earnings decrease of 99.2 mill. EUR is less than could have been expected given the reduction in sales of 438 mill. EUR, due to the efficiency and effectiveness of our programmes, particularly our cost cutting programme. EBTA for the previous year was affected by extra-ordinary income, which makes an earnings comparison difficult. This income resulted from the reorganisation of the old-age pension provision and came to 235 mill. EUR. Furthermore, both the current and the previous year include non-recurring costs of achieving greater flexibility and portfolio adjustment costs. Taking into account the special factors mentioned, EBTA for the first half-year stood at minus 439.5 mill. EUR (previous year: minus 97.3 mill. EUR). The optimisation of net financial debt and working capital has progressed well in past weeks and despite the difficult retail environment is already showing considerable success. Proof of this is that the sluggish progress of business in the first half year did not negatively affect the net financial debt. This is due, amongst other things, to the reduction of working capital by 27 % to 2.2 bill. EUR. Still unsatisfactory, on the other hand, is the development of free cash flow. Because of the sales and earnings performance in the second quarter of 2004 and the continuing weak domestic economy the Management Board has lowered its expectations for the 2004 financial year. Although on the basis of the present level of knowledge and forecasts we expect a slight improvement in the sales performance in the second half of the year, nevertheless group sales for the 2004 financial year will be between 4,5 % and 5 % lower than those of the previous year. On this basis the Management Board anticipates in the 2004 financial year operating earnings (EBTA, not including extraordinary restructuring costs) of between minus 160 mill. EUR and minus 200 mill. EUR. Essen, 04.08.04 The Management Board end of ad-hoc-announcement (c)DGAP 04.08.2004
----- WKN: 627500; ISIN: DE0006275001; Index: MDAX Listed: Amtlicher Markt in Berlin-Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt (Prime Standard), Hamburg, Hannover, München und Stuttgart 040800 Aug 04

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