(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). The Wacoal division that covers all of the Americas reported its best sales ever for the year ended March 31, 2022, but continues to be plagued by losses at Lively, the brand it acquired in 2019 for a startlingly high price.
Wacoal Europe Ltd. also reported its best sales year ever.
In latest fiscal year, Wacoal International Corp., the “Americas” division, reported operating income of 433 million yen, or $3.9 million, compared to an operating loss of $8.6 million. Meanwhile, sales jumped to 25,282 million yen (about $197.7 million at current exchange rates), compared to 17,649 million yen (about $138.0 million) for the year ended March 31, 2021.
Wacoal explained that “net sales from Wacoal America, Inc., which distributes “Wacoal” and “b.tempt’d” brand products, increased by 39.1% as compared to such sales for the previous fiscal year due to strong sales from our e-commerce website and physical stores.” The company continued: “net sales from Intimates Online, Inc., which distributes “Lively” brand, increased by 14.9% as a result of expanded sales from wholesale and directly-operated stores even though sales from its e-commerce website struggled to grow as a result of reducing advertising investment due to the impact of rising costs of social media advertising.”
“Operating income from Wacoal America, Inc. grew significantly as a result of increased sales while operating loss from Intimates Online, Inc. increased due to changes in distribution ratio of sales channels, as well as our strengthened efforts for inventory optimization.”
Wacoal acquired the Intimates Online and its Lively brand in July, 2019 for $85 million plus additional earn outs based on future performance. The additional earn outs were to range in total from $20 million to $55 million, to be paid over the following four years. Wacoal stated at the time that it based the price of the deal on an “enterprise valuation report dated February 8, 2019 from its financial advisor, MMG Advisors, Inc.”
Intimates Online, which was launched in 2015, lost $1.631 million on sales of $5.315 million in 2017, followed by a loss of $3.728 million on sales of $11.490 million in 2018, according to a Wacoal statement at the time of the acquisition. Sales for Lively grew in subsequent years, but the parent company in Japan, Wacoal Holdings Corp., has repeatedly complained of losses at the brand.
A Wacoal “data book” shows Lively sales of $11.967 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020; $34.235 million for the year ended March 31, 2021; and $39.321 million for the year ended March 31, 2022.
Wacoal, which does not always provide results by brand, pointed to an “operating loss of $11.5 million” at Lively in the year ended March, 2020. And the following year explained that the $8.6 million operating loss at the entire Americas division was “due to our continued strategic growth investments in our Lively brand distributed by Intimates Online, as well as the impact of the decreased revenue,” across the whole division. And for the year ended March 31, 2022, as noted above, the company complained of “increased” operating losses for Lively.
At the Wacoal Europe Ltd. division, which includes some business for its brands sold in the U.S., the company celebrated “its highest sales ever as a result of sales in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States which exceeded the pre-pandemic level across all areas, supported by a strong recovery in consumer spending.”
The European division reported operating income of 1,804 million yen (about $14.1 million) on sales of 16,305 million yen (about $127.5 million) for the year ended March 31, 2022. In the previous year the division reported operating income of 666 million yen (about $5.2 million) on sales of 9,896 million yen (about $77.4 million).
“Net sales from Wacoal Europe Ltd. on a local currency basis increased by 48.8% (an increase of 64.8% on a Japanese yen basis) as compared to such sales for the previous fiscal year the company explained. “With respect to sales by channel, our core specialty stores and third-party e-commerce websites maintained strong sales, and our own e-commerce website in the United Kingdom achieved an increase in net sales of 35.5% as compared to the previous fiscal year. While sales from our department stores fell short of reaching the pre-pandemic level due to the impact of the closings of certain department stores, net sales significantly increased as compared to such net sales for the previous fiscal year by developing business with new client. Operating income on a local currency basis increased significantly by 144.9% (an increase of 170.9% on a Japanese yen basis) as compared to such income for the previous fiscal year due to the effect of increased sales.”
For parent company Wacoal Holdings Corp., which has extensive operations in Asia, net income in the latest fiscal year slumped to 4,608 million yen (about $36.0 million) on higher sales of 172,860 million yen (about $1.35 billion), compared to net income of 7,025 million yen (about $54.9 million) on sales of 152,204 million yen (about $1.19 billion) in the year ended March 31, 2021. — NM
(Note: we provide some conversion rate figures in U.S. dollars for rough comparative purposes only. Conversion rates fluctuate over time so U.S. dollar amounts would be somewhat different in previous years).
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