Clas Ohlson three-month report 2014/15

Regulatory

2014-09-10 07:00 CET

First quarter

· Sales rose 9 % to 1,642 MSEK (1,507). In local currencies, sales rose 8 %
· Operating profit increased by 10% to 102 MSEK (92)
· Profit after tax increased by 13 % to 78 MSEK (69)
· Earnings per share increased by 14 % to 1.24 SEK (1.09)
· Cash flow from operating activities amounted to 171 MSEK (109)
· As previously announced, the Board of Directors proposes that a dividend of 4.75 SEK per share (4.25) be approved by the Annual General Meeting

Events after the end of the reporting period

  • Sales in August increased by 9 % to 611 MSEK (561). In local currencies, sales rose 7 %
  • Clas Ohlson’s Annual Report and Sustainability Report for 2013/14 were published in August
  • This year’s product catalogue was published in Sweden, Norway, Finland and the UK in August, featuring a range of new products

CEO’s comments

“I am again pleased to report a positive sales and earnings trend this quarter. Our market position is solid, and it is particularly gratifying that our operations outside the Nordic region grew by a full 38 per cent. Sales in August also continued to display a favourable trend in all markets.

We can note that the positive performance is continuing with a 4 per cent sales increase in comparable units, making this our strongest first quarter for a long time. The total sales increase for the quarter was 9 per cent. Our omni-channel strategy is generating results with increased sales in all sales channels, particularly in our online shopping channel that reported sales growth of more than 40 per cent.

Our gross margin for the quarter was slightly lower than in the year-earlier period, primarily due to exchange-rate effects linked to the company’s forward contracts. Despite this, operating profit increased by more than 10 per cent due to the positive sales trend in comparable units. We are also proud that we now have more than one million members in our Club Clas loyalty program in Sweden. Furthermore, during the quarter we launched attractive new products in our range that were well received by our customers. For example, we saw the positive effects of our initiative to add paint to the product range, a long sought-after product group by our customers.

The second quarter has started well, with a 9 per cent sales increase in August, despite a negative calendar effect of about 2 per cent. Next week we will introduce Clas Office, our offering to corporate customers, in Sweden and Norway. Later this autumn we will launch Club Clas in Finland. In addition, we are continuing our international expansion with plans for at least one additional store in the Gulf region and one to two in Germany during the next calendar year” says Klas Balkow, President and CEO of Clas Ohlson AB.

The financial year 2014/15 comprises the period from 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2015.

Press and analyst conference

A press and analyst conference will be held on Wednesday, 10 September at 08:00 a.m. at Clas Ohlson’s store at Drottninggatan 53 in Stockholm and can also be followed on about.clasohlson.com or www.financialhearings.com

For more information please contact:
Sara Kraft Westrell, Director of Information and IR, phone +46 (0)247-649 13

The information in this press release comprises information that Clas Ohlson AB (publ) is required to disclose pursuant to the Swedish Securities Market Act and/or the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was released for publication at 07:00 CET on September 10, 2014.