Arcandor AG

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

Nachricht vom 03.11.2004 | 08:04

KarstadtQuelle AG: Restructuring in progress - Forecast adjusted downwards

Ad-hoc-announcement transmitted by DGAP.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
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Restructuring in progress - Forecast adjusted downwards

Implementation of the restructuring and realignment program showing initial
progress:
The implementation of the program for restructuring and realignment of the
KarstadtQuelle Group presented on September 28, 2004 is showing initial
progress. A cost-cutting program aimed at saving about 760 mill. EUR was
agreed with employees' representatives for 2005 to 2007. Furthermore, a
capital increase with a pre-emptive subscription right and a total issue
volume of 500 mill. EUR has been initiated. This is to be resolved at an
extraordinary meeting of shareholders on November 22, 2004. The major
KarstadtQuelle AG shareholders, the members of the Madeleine Schickedanz
voting pool and the Dresdner Bank AG have stated that they are in principle
prepared to subscribe to new shares in the capital increase with a total
value of about 280 mill. EUR. It is envisaged to complete the rights issue
prior to year end. The aim is to strengthen the equity capital base and
form
a better platform for implementation of the strategic realignment. The
lending
banks have agreed to an extension of short-term credit lines until December
31, 2004. Negotiations for a syndicated financing credit are currently
being
held.

Group sales decrease by 5.9% in the third quarter:
The KarstadtQuelle Group posted a decrease in sales by 5.9% to 3.2 bill.
EUR
over the period from July 1 to September 30. The performance remains
unsatisfactory, but was within our moderate expectations. The group
achieved
sales of 10.1 bill. EUR in the first nine months of the 2004 financial
year.
This represents a decrease of 6%.

Adjusted quarterly earnings on the same level as previous year - Earnings
hampered by special factors:
Compared with the same period the previous year, group earnings (EBTA)
before
tax and amortization of goodwill and after adjustment for special factors
remained at minus 31 mill. EUR in the third quarter. The adverse impact on
earnings through the sales decrease were set off by the well advanced cost-
cutting programmes. Quarterly EBTA in the current year includes one-off
factors (valuation and restructuring measures) amounting to 1.1 bill. EUR
resulting from the restructuring and realignment of the KarstadtQuelle
Group.
Taking into account this extraordinary impact on earnings, EBTA stood at
minus
1.1 bill. EUR (previous year: minus 31 mill. EUR).
Group EBTA after adjustment for special factors came to minus 420 mill.
EUR in
the first nine months of the 2004 financial year (minus 321 mill. EUR in
the
previous year). Including the negative special factors in the current year
EBTA was minus 1.57 bill. EUR compared with the previous year of minus 128
mill. EUR which benefited from positive special factors.

Sales performance by the core brands currently impaired - Whole-year
forecast
adjusted:
The comprehensive restructuring program is also linked with wide-ranging
measures on the personnel side. For a number of weeks this attracted
widespread attention from the general public. We noted as a negative side
effect a reluctance to buy due to customer unease. Particularly affected by
this was the domestic business performance of universal mail order at
Germany's leading mail-order company, Quelle. The sales forecast is
therefore
being adjusted to approx. minus 7% and the forecast for adjusted EBTA to
between minus 280 mill. EUR to minus 295 mill. EUR. In the management's
estimation the sales decrease at the beginning of the fourth quarter was an
understandable, but temporary reaction by customers.

Essen, 03.11.2004
The management board

end of ad-hoc-announcement  (c)DGAP 03.11.2004
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WKN: 627500; ISIN: DE0006275001; Index: MDAX
Listed: Amtlicher Markt in Berlin-Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt (Prime
Standard), Hamburg, Hannover, München und Stuttgart

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