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Sports Direct International Plc’s revenue for the year ended April 29, 2018, increased by 3.5 percent to 3,359.5 million pounds (4,387 million dollars). Reported profit before tax was 77.5 million pounds (101 million dollars), down 72.5 percent, which the company said was largely due to an 85.4 million pounds (111.4 million dollars) impact from its Debenhams strategic investment. Reported earnings per share fell by 88.3 percent to 4.6p, while underlying basic earnings per share increased by 74.6 percent to 19.9p.

Commenting on the group’s performance, Mike Ashley, the company’s Chief Executive, said in a statement: "I'm pleased that our Underlying EBITDA has come in at the top end of our expected range at 306.1million pounds as we indicated this time last year, and also that the underlying profit after tax has increased substantially to 104.9million pounds."

Review of Sports Direct’s annual performance

The company said while UK sports retail decreased by 2 percent to 2,181.5 million pounds (2,847.9 million dollars), which includes USC fascia sales, European Sports Retail decreased by 0.1 percent to 637.2 million pounds (831.8 million dollars) including Heatons Republic of Ireland. The company’s premium lifestyle segment’s revenue increased by 42.7 percent, with revenue in wholesale & licensing division down 22.7 percent and rest of world retail revenue reaching 192.4 million pounds (251.2 million dollars).

Group gross margin in the year decreased by 130 basis points from 41 percent to 39.7 percent, which the company said, was largely due to acquisition accounting as a result of the purchase of the trade and assets of Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports, and increased inventory provisions as all divisions invested in more significant product offerings. UK sports retail margin was down at 40.8 percent compared to 41.1 percent in 2017, while European sports retail decreased 250 basis points from 43.3 percent to 40.8 percent. Premium Lifestyle's gross margin decreased by 190 basis points to 33.3 percent and rest of world retail margin was 30 percent.

Group underlying EBITDA for the year was up 12.2 percent to 306.1 million pounds (399.6 million dollars). UK sports retail underlying EBITDA was up 6.5 percent to 277.9 million pounds (362.7 million dollars) while European sports retail underlying EBITDA was a profit of 14 million pounds (18.2 million dollars) from a prior year loss of 22 million pounds (28.7 million dollars). Premium lifestyle underlying EBITDA was up 43.2 percent to 6.3 million pounds (8.2 million dollars), rest of world retail was a loss of 22.3 million pounds (29 million dollars) and wholesale & licensing underlying EBITDA increased to 30.2 million pounds (39.4 million dollars).

Group underlying profit before tax increased 34.5 percent to 152.9 million pounds (199.5 million dollars), which Sports Directs attributed to the higher EBITDA, favourable realised FX and lower depreciation and amortisation charges. Underlying basic EPS for the year increased by 74.6 percent to 19.9p.

Sports Direct expands retail presence

During FY18, the company opened a total of 15 of new generation stores, of which five were regional flagship-style stores, consisting of multiple fascias on a single site. Post year-end, the company has opened Thurrock, bringing the total number of flagships to 19. The Group is currently operating 374 stores in England, 36 in Scotland, 29 in Wales and 16 in Northern Ireland, along with 38 other fascia including USC. This represents a net reduction of 19 stores over the period as a result of 13 openings and 32 closures. Of the 32 closures, 8 were linked to relocations to new generation stores.

In Northern Ireland, during FY18 the 10 Heatons/Sports Direct dual-fascia stores acquired at the time of the Heatons acquisition have been converted to the Sports Direct new generation store format. The remaining six standalone Sports Direct stores are part of a pipeline for future development and investment. The Group forecasts that there will be 10-20 new generation Sports stores over the coming financial year in the UK and ROI, the majority of which will include the new USC concept. For luxury fascia, Flannels, the company anticipates 6-12 new stores over the coming financial year.

The ongoing investment programme by the Group in Ireland has also seen the development of two new generation Sports Direct stores during FY18, one being the flagship in Dublin. The Group has also invested extensively in the Heatons ROI existing store network through the conversion of 16 out of the 29 dual-fascia Heatons / Sports Direct stores. The Group operates in 32 locations across ROI, five of which are standalone Sports Direct stores. An additional 12 stores are standalone Heatons fascia.

The Group forecasts that there will be in the region of three - five new generation Sports stores over the coming financial year in ROI, the majority of which will include the new USC concept.

The Group continues to operate sports stores in 18 countries in Europe. There were 221 Sports retail stores in Europe, a reduction of 12 from the previous financial year. There were five openings in four different countries in FY18, one of which was a relocation and there were 17 closures in seven different countries of non performing stores. In the rest of the world, there were 30 stores in Malaysia, including five openings in the year and 49 stores in the USA, with the acquisition of Bob's Stores / Eastern Mountain Sports completed.

The Group also operates 21 Flannels stores, 10 Cruise stores and three van mildert stores - a total of 34 stores within the luxury division.

Picture:Sports Direct media gallery

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-07-2018”

eBay Inc., for its second quarter ended June 30, 2018 delivered revenue of 2.6 billion dollars, up 9 percent on reported basis and 6 percent on FX neutral basis, which the company said, was driven by gross merchandise volume (GMV) of 23.6 billion dollars, up 10 percent on reported basis and 7 percent on an FX-neutral basis. During the quarter, eBay delivered GAAP net income from continuing operations of 638 million dollars or 0.64 dollar per diluted share and non-GAAP net income from continuing operations of 533 million dollars or 0.53 dollar per diluted share.

"In Q2 we continued to execute our strategy, making improvements to the core eBay experience. At the same time, we pursued significant opportunities in advertising and payments," said Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay Inc. in a statement, adding, "As we look ahead to the second half of 2018, we expect acceleration in our core business and continued strong growth in earnings."

Review of eBay’s second quarter results

In the second quarter, eBay grew active buyers by 4 percent across its platforms, for a total of 175 million global active buyers. Underlying total eBay Inc. performance, the marketplace platforms delivered 2.1 billion dollars of revenue and 22.6 billion dollars of GMV. Marketplace revenue growth was 9 percent on reported basis and 6 percent on an FX-neutral basis, and GMV was up 11 percent on reported basis and 7 percent on an FX-neutral basis.

StubHub revenue of 246 million dollars, was up 4 percent on an a reported basis and 3 percent on an FX-Neutral basis, and GMV of 1.1 billion dollars, rose 5 percent on both reported and FX-neutral basis. Classifieds platforms delivered revenue of 259 million dollars, up 18 percent on reported and 10 percent on an FX-neutral basis.

eBay to end strategic relationship with India’s Flipkart

The company also announced its intent to sell its holdings in India’s Flipkart, which will represent gross proceeds of approximately 1.1 billion dollars. Following the close of the transaction, eBay will end its current strategic relationship with Flipkart. The company plans to relaunch eBay India with a differentiated offer to focus initially on the cross-border trade opportunity. In Q2, eBay also completed its acquisition of Giosis' Japan business, including the Qoo10.jp platform, which expands its footprint in Japan.

The company expects net revenue in the third quarter to be between 2.64 billion dollars and 2.69 billion dollars, representing organic FX-neutral growth of 5 percent – 7 percent, with GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of 0.37 dollar to 0.41 dollar and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of 0.54 dollar to 0.56 dollar.

For the full year, the company now expects net revenue between 10.75 billion dollars and 10.85 billion dollars, representing organic FX-neutral growth of 6 percent to 7 percent, with GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of 1.91 dollars to 2.01 dollars and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of 2.28 dollars to 2.32 dollars.

Picture:eBay press centre

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-07-2018”

Primark, part of the Associated British Foods has announced that Peter Franks, the company’s director of store development and design, will be leaving the business later this year. The company also said that it has promoted Mark Wood in a newly created role of brand and store development director and will take over Peter’s responsibilities.

Commenting on Franks’ departure from the company, a Primark spokesperson said in a statement: “During his time with the company, Peter has made a significant contribution to the expansion of our store portfolio overseeing numerous store openings including the likes of Oxford Street East in London, Downtown Crossing in Boston, and Gran Via in Madrid as well as our store refurbishment programme.”

The company added that Woods’ new position more closely aligns store development and design with brand development, which he has been working on since he joined the business in 2015.

Picture:Primark website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”18-07-2018”

Swatch, the world's top watchmaker, on Wednesday announced an all-time record in half-year sales, saying it has millennials to thank for bringing wristwatches back.

Swatch is best known for its brightly coloured plastic-cased watches, but also owns several luxury brands including Breguet and Omega.

Long the world's biggest watchmaker, Swatch has for years seen sales tumble as consumers around the world embraced the smartphone and smartwatch revolutions.

But the tide seems to be turning, driven by strong demand in Asia and North America, the Swiss giant said. "Consumer demand, particularly from millennials, for authentic innovative brand products is greatly increasing on a worldwide scale, regardless of region or price segment," Swatch said in a statement.

Hover over the graph to learn more.

Group net sales increased by 14.7 percent at current exchange rates in the first half of 2018 to 4.27 billion Swiss francs (4.26 billion US dollars, 3.7 billion euros).

Net profit rose by 66.5 percent to 468 million Swiss francs, with operating profit soaring 69.5 percent to 629 million Swiss francs, the statement said. The group added that the group expects further growth in the second half of the year.

"Impressive acceleration in both sales and quantities sold was reported across the board by all brands and in all price segments, not only in the prestige and luxury segment, but also in the middle and basic price segment," Swatch said.

"All regions contributed to the best first semester sales in the history of the Group, led by Asia with very high growth rates," it added. "In North America, a double-digit sales increase was also recorded." Swatch had a bad year in 2016, when Swiss watchmakers saw sales drop by 10 percent after a more than 3 percent fall in 2015.

The company returned to growth in 2017, driven by online sales.(AFP)

photo courtesy of the brand
Author: AFP
Posted: ”18-07-2018”

Adler Modemärkte AG has announced that the company achieved its projected earnings turnaround in the second quarter of the 2018 financial year. According to the preliminary figures, the company expects to report 17.9 million euros (20.8 million dollars) in EBITDA including the non-recurring negative effect of 0.8 million euros (0.9 million dollars). Quarterly revenue in the months of April through June amounted to 140.4 million euros (163 million dollars), down 3 percent year on year.

The cumulative consolidated revenue for the first half of 2018, the company added, amounted to 243.1 million euros (282.5 million dollars) against 254 million euros (295 million dollars) in the first half of 2017 and cumulative EBITDA was 0.03 million euros (0.035 million dollars). Adler further said that the gross profit margin, which reflects the operational improvements and efficiency enhancements achieved by the company, rose from 52.9 percent to 54.3 percent in six months.

Confirming the full-year outlook, Adler's executive board expects the industry environment to remain difficult in the textiles retail sector, and it expects full-year revenue to remain roughly at the same level as in the previous year at 525.8 million euros (610.9 million dollars). EBITDA is expected to exceed the adjusted 2017 figure of 25.4 million euros (29.5 million dollars) and amount to between 26 million euros and 29 million euros (30 to 33.7 million dollars).

Picture:Adler press centre

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”18-07-2018”

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at its headquarters in Arteixo, Inditex Chairman and CEO Pablo Isla highlighted the company’s integrated stores and online model which has enabled “sustained growth over the years”.

"All of Inditex’s brands benefit from a robust integrated store and online platform. In 2017, online sales already accounted for 12 percent of the total in the 47 markets in which ecommerce platforms are available, representing annual growth of 41 percent,” Isla said.

Inditex expands brick-and-mortar and online presence in 2017

In 2017, the company’s retail space increased by 7.4 percent and the Group ended the year with 7,475 stores in 96 markets, seven of its brands having entered the Belarus market during the year.

Along with store refurbishment drive, Inditex also focused on extending its brands’ online presence. The group’s largest brand Zara’s online platform was launched in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore in 2017 and in Australia and New Zealand in 2018.

Hover over the graph to learn more.

Inditex also said that during the AGM, its shareholders approved the Group's performance in 2017, a year in which store numbers surpassed 7,400 in 96 markets and online reached 47 markets. Group revenue totalled 25.34 billion euros (29.49 billion dollars), underpinned by growth in all the regions as well as growth in online sales, which accounted for 10 percent of the total.

Net profit totalled 3.37 billion euros (3.92 billion dollars). Inditex added that these results have paved the way for the payment of a dividend of 0.75 euro per share, marking growth of 10.3 percent year-on-year and of 70 percent in the last five years. At the AGM, Inditex's shareholders also voted in favour of the appointment of Pilar López, President of Microsoft Spain, as a new independent director, and of the re-election of Rodrigo Echenique, who is also an independent member of the board of directors.

Inditex to extend “Closing the Loop” in new markets

Isla also gave an account of the Group's “Closing the Loop” programme for the reuse and recycling of textile products. The programme's footprint has been extended to 21 markets so far and he said that the plan is to continue to gradually roll the programme out in additional markets. As the next step, the company will begin to pilot test the at-home pick up service in China, specifically in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai, in September.

He added that this commitment was similarly evident in the use of select raw materials and recycled textiles for Zara and Massimo Dutti's Join Life and Oysho's We Are the Change collections. In 2017, more than 73.6 million garments adopted these labels for the use of the most sustainable raw materials and processes.

At the end of the year, the company had over 171,000 employees worldwide and Inditex paid its employees over 562 million euros (654 million dollars) from its 2017 profits in addition to their base salaries. Of this total, 520 million euros was paid in bonuses and commissions. The company said, a further 42 million euros relates to phase one of Inditex's extraordinary profit-sharing plan which was paid out last April to the approximately 88,000 employees who had been working for the Group for at least two years as of March 31, 2018.

Picture credit:Inditex

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”18-07-2018”

Ralph Lauren’s vice president, global public relations Florinka Pesenti has left the business to join MacAndrews & Forbes, reports WWD. According to the report, Ryan Lally, has been promoted to Vice President, global public relations and brand communications, to step into the position vacated by Pesenti.

Lally has been with Ralph Lauren since 2005, most recently as vice president, brand communications reporting to Jonathan Bottomley, Chief Marketing Officer of the company.

The report added that reporting into Patrice Louvet, the group’s President and CEO, Katie Ioanilli will continue to hold the position as Corporate Senior Vice President, global corporate communications at Ralph Lauren.

Picture:Ralph Lauren UK website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”17-07-2018”

John Lewis has reported that total sales for the week ending July 15, 2018, were down 6.2 percent due to the continued hot weather and the sporting events last week impacting sales. The company said in a statement that fashion sales for the week were down 3.5 percent, however womenswear had a good week with sales up 5.6 percent.

The company’s own-brand sales were strong, up 29.4 percent, with the new collection from Kin up 103 percent. Elsewhere, John Lewis added, warm weather clothing continued its good performance with sales up 14 percent.

Home sales were down 11 percent but summer merchandise had a strong week, with sales rising by 11percent, and outdoor furniture sales up 9 percent. Hydration, which includes reusable water bottles, saw an uplift of 24 percent and beach towels were up 23 percent. EHT sales for the week under review were down 4.6 percent.

Picture:John Lewis website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”17-07-2018”

The Swiss luxury goods group Richemont has proposed election of Sophie Guieysse as an Executive Director to the board of directors of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA. The company said in a statement that election will take place at the next annual general meeting, to be held on September 10, 2018.

Guieysse, the company added, is currently Group Human Resources Director of Richemont and a member of its senior executive committee. She will report to Jérôme Lambert, Group Chief Operating Officer, equally member of the senior executive committee and a director on the company’s board.

The company further said that Guieysse joined Richemont in her current capacity in October 2017 from Dior where she had been advising on the future of luxury in a connected world. She serves on the board of directors of Maisons du Monde and is Chairman of the nominations & compensation committee. In addition, she is a member of the remuneration committee of Paris 2024 Olympic games organising committee and of the 2023 Rugby World Cup organising committee.

Picture:Chloe website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”17-07-2018”

British retailer Marks & Spencer Plc (M&S) would be cutting 351 jobs across its stores in the country, reports the Guardian. The retailer has decided to lay off 115 positions across store, commercial and operations segments and 182 section managers in the same sectors of the business.

According to consultation documents accessed by the Guardian, the troubled retailer is exploring job cuts in a bid to streamline its business and save cost. The report added quoting the documents, “while sales continued to witness a downturn across its store estate, with sales over the past two years declining by 7.5 percent, management costs rose significantly. This has contributed to reducing store profitability, impacting on our ability to trade our existing stores and open future stores viably.”

In June, M&S decided not to pay bonuses to its directors on the back of fall in profit. The company said in its annual report that group PBT was below the threshold for bonus payments in the business to begin. As such, the committee exercised its discretion and no bonus payments were made to directors. Group profit before adjusting items was 580.9 million pounds (779 million dollars), last year. In January, the company had announced that as a part of its transformation plan, it intends to reposition 25 percent of clothing & home space through a combination of closures, downsizes, relocations and conversions to food-only stores.

Picture:M&S media centre

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”17-07-2018”