· Sales amounted to 1,763 MSEK (1,770), up 2% in local currencies
· Operating profit amounted to 75 MSEK (106)
· Profit after tax amounted to 58 MSEK (81)
· Earnings per share amounted to 0.91 SEK (1.27)
· Cash flow from operating activities amounted to 16 MSEK (170)
· The store portfolio was expanded by 8 new stores (net) and Clas Ohlson opened its first store in the German market
· The Annual Report and Sustainability Report for 2015/16 were published
· As previously announced, the Board of Directors proposes that a dividend of 5.75 SEK per share (5.25) be approved by the Annual General Meeting
Events after the end of the reporting period
· Sales in August increased by 9% to 665 MSEK (611), up 10% in local currencies
· Agreement signed for a new store in the Mercato Shopping Mall in Dubai
The 2016/17 financial year comprises the period from 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017.
Negative effects from currency but continued positive development
We are continuing to strengthen our position but this quarter we saw a slightly weaker sales trend than we are used to. Earnings were impacted by lower growth as well as the weaker NOK, and start-up costs for our launch in Germany.
Following a record-breaking quarter in the preceding year, we noted a slightly lower growth in the first quarter due to factors including negative calendar effects and exchange-rate effects. We increased sales in the quarter by 2 per cent in local currencies to 1,763 MSEK. However, the second quarter is off to a favourable start with sales growth in August of a full 10 per cent in local currencies, with a particularly strong performance in the Nordic markets.
NOK remains challenging
As expected, the weaker NOK resulted in a negative earnings trend for the quarter. We will work to balance the effects of the trend in NOK over time similar to our successful measures to offset the effects of the significantly stronger USD. As previously announced, we also incurred start-up costs for our launch in the German market that impacted our earnings for the quarter.
Next step in development of offering and international expansion
During the summer months, we continued to update our store network by opening four new stores, adapting three stores to our new store concept and restructuring our store network in the UK as planned. We also saw a positive trend in our offering to corporate customers and strengthened online shopping, which reported healthy growth figures. However, perhaps the most important event of the quarter was the opening of our store in central Hamburg. The reception thus far has been fantastic and it is clear that there is widespread interest in our offering among German consumers. In just a few days we will open our second store in Hamburg in the Altona city district. We can also announce today that we will open our second franchise store in Dubai in the Mercato Shopping Mall in the autumn, which we are very much looking forward to.
A strong sales development in August gives us a good start in our second quarter. We have filled our sales channels with many new products and are now entering the autumn brimming with energy.
Klas Balkow, President and CEO of Clas Ohlson AB
Press and analyst conference
A press and analyst conference will be held on Wednesday, 7 September at 08:30 a.m. at Clas Ohlson’s store at Drottninggatan 53 in Stockholm, Sweden, and can also be followed on about.clasohlson.com or www.financialhearings.com
This is information that Clas Ohlson AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 7:00 am CET on 7 September 2016.