(Filed Under wholesale Hosiery News). Wolford AG, the Austria-based hosiery, intimates and apparel firm, reported a loss of 6.189 million euros (about $6.85 million at current exchange rates) on sales of 164.4 million euros (about $182 million) for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2016. In the previous fiscal year the firm reported a profit of 1.033 million euros on sales of 157.4 million euros.
Explaining that “Our bottom-line earnings figures were marked by a one-off item due to the reversal of deferred tax assets,” Axel Dreher, CFO and COO boasted that, “Excluding one-off items in the previous financial year, we boosted our operating earnings by almost € 5 million.” He added, “We are on the right track with our operations.”
Wolford’s North American market segment, as it did last year, reported a loss before interest and taxes (EBIT).
Looking worldwide, at the 2016/2017 year, the company noted, in a statement accompanying its annual report, it will “generate slight revenue growth in the financial year as a whole,” and “operating earnings are also expected to rise slightly. No further items should result from the reversal of deferred taxes on loss carryovers, as a result of which earnings after tax are also expected to be positive.”
Wolford not only produces apparel, but also maintains a significant number of its own shops. As of April 30, 2016 the company was operating worldwide, 262 retail “points of sale,” including 113 Wolford-owned boutiques, “39 concession shop-in-shops, 23 factory outlets,” and 87 “partner-operated boutiques.” It also claimed “about 3,000 other distribution partners” in the annual report.
North America is a prominent segment of the company’s business, accounting for 19% of revenues last year. Asia and Oceania accounted for only 6% of sales, with Europe making up about 75%.
While department and other stores, as well as online sales make up a significant portion of its North American business, there are also a total of 36 mono-brand Wolford outlets between the U.S. and Canada including 24 company-owned boutiques, “seven concession shop-in-shops, three factory outlets” and two boutiques that are partner-operated.
Yet, despite its significant presence in North America, the territory is actually not profitable for the company. According to the report, although sales last year were 31.932 million euros (about $35.3 million) the company generated a loss before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 511,000 euros (about $566,000). In the 2014/2015 year the company reported a loss before interest and taxes of 723,000 euros on sales of 28.551 million euros. Further, Wolford cut the average number of employees in North America last year to 97, down from 113 the year before.
Currency exchange fluctuations helped the company in this country last year. “Due to positive currency items, Wolford posted substantial growth in its core markets of the USA (+12%),” with mixed results throughout its other territories, the company reported.
In September the company promised to unveil “for the first time” a “new store concept” in Beverly Hills as well as Berlin and Shanghai. There is currently a Wolford shop in Beverly Hills, as well as in Beverly Center and in Costa Mesa.
Overall, "legwear" makes up 53% of Wolford’s sales; ready-to-wear 29%; lingerie 14%; accessories 3% and "trading goods 1%.
Looking at its combined worldwide business, the company reported several sales changes it its various segments. “The online business once again posted a highly positive full-year performance (+ 52%). Wolford’s proprietary locations (boutiques, concession shop-in-shops, and factory outlets) increased their revenues by 2% overall, with like-for-like revenue growth (i.e. excluding locations newly opened or closed) also amounting to 2%. By contrast, the wholesale business (partner-operated boutiques, department stores, and specialist retailers) reported a 2% decline in revenues.” — NM
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