German perfume retailer will continue expansion plans in 2009

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Domestic sales is the only area to experience growth for the perfume division of German retailer Douglas during the first quarter of the year.

Preliminary results for the quarter up to December 31, taking in the ever important run up to Christmas, showed international sales suffering.

The perfumery division as a whole reported 650.2m, a 0.2 per cent drop in like-for-like sales.

International sales suffered

Much of the decrease is due to international operations that suffered a 1.7 per cent drop in like-for-like sales. Contrastingly, performance from the company’s 445 perfumeries in Germany reported a 1.4 per cent growth.

However, the company remains confident about its performance across all divisions and plans further expansion of the perfumery division over 2009.

“We got off to a very sound start in the new fiscal year and, all in all, we are not dissatisfied with our holiday season sales.”

Even if on the basis of the aforementioned figures we feel just short of initial projections for the first quarter – particularly in southwestern Europe – this still represents a solid platform for the rest of the current fiscal year,” ​said CEO Dr Henning Kreke.

Fifty new stores are planned for 2009 in order to expand the company’s presence in Italy, Poland, Russia and Croatia. New stores in Germany are also planned.

Annual results slightly short of predictions

Along with preliminary first quarter results – the full figures shall be released on February 2 – the company publicised its 2007/2008 fiscal year balance sheet.

Results fell slightly short of predictions for the year end September 30 2008. Earnings before tax came in at €147.1m, a rise in 208 per cent on the previous year but fell short of the predicted €150m.

Looking to the year ahead, the retailer is not buying into the doom laden predictions of many others in the industry.

“However, we firmly expect the bigger picture to be somewhat brighter. This is because we believe that many customers will continue to treat themselves to a touch of luxury despite turbulences on the financial markets,”​ said CEO Kreke.

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