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current news

Problems At Intimacy As Van de Velde Rises


(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Sales rose slightly in 2013 at Van de Velde, the Belgian firm that owns Intimacy and PrimaDonna among other stores and brands (up 0.4% to 182.4 million euros - about $251.9 million at today’s exchange rates).

Recurring profit for the period (“excluding impairment / non-recurring restructuring costs”) fell 2.2%, down to 32.9 million euros approximately $45.4 million at today’s exchange rates) from 33.6 million euros in 2012. “Profit for the period attributable to the owners of the company” rose 24% to 31.8 million euros.

As noted in an earlier announcement (BODY January 16, 2014), Van de Velde reported sales at the U.S. retail chain Intimacy fell “slightly over 12% in local currency. The like-for-like fall slowed down in the second half of the year (4.8%) compared to the first six months (11%).”

Van de Velde did not, however, have the same problems with the retail side of its operations in other countries. “The retail turnover of Rigby & Peller in the UK grew by 0.6% in local currency and decreased by about 4% in euro due a weaker British pound,” while the company reported “An increase of 13.5% in the retail turnover at Rigby & Peller (the former Oreia) in Continental Europe, thanks to a like-for-like growth in Germany (6.5%) and a number of new stores (Cologne, Munich, Copenhagen).” In addition, “The retail turnover at Donker stores in the period April-December 2013 contributed € 3.5m.” The latter stores located in the Netherlands were acquired in 2013.

Van de Velde seemed less optimistic than in the past about the immediate prospects for improvement at its U.S. retailer. In a note under the heading, “non-recurring restructuring costs” the firm warned that “the situation at Intimacy is being closely monitored. If it becomes clear in the short term that the targets for 2014 will not be met, the impact on the carrying value of the Intimacy brand name and goodwill will be examined when the figures are compiled for the first six months of the year.”

The firm also revealed that “The financial result in 2013 was € 2.2m lower than in 2012. This is due to a lower adjustment of outstanding balances between Van de Velde and the minority shareholders of Intimacy, a profit of € 0.9m in 2013 versus € 3.0m in 2012. This adjustment relates to the purchase price for a 35.1% shareholding in Intimacy (transaction of April 2010) for which an advance payment of US$ 13.5m was made. The receivable from the selling party (the minority shareholder) of in total US$ 9.4m (€ 7.2m) was collected in full in 2013.”

In another potentially troubling development at Intimacy, Van de Velde reported “Intimacy has been named as defendant in a potential class action suit alleging violation of FACTA (“Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act”). This Act stipulates the credit card details that can be stated on a cash receipt. The case is currently in the discovery phase and it remains uncertain whether class certification will be granted. Management cannot reasonably and reliably estimate the outcome or estimate the amount of damages that may result from this matter at this time.” The Act indicates that firms revealing credit information on printed receipts can be fined and held responsible for damages to consumers.

Looking ahead in 2014, “Wholesale looks promising in the first half of the year. We see slight growth in lingerie pre-orders (including healthy growth for Andres Sarda), while the figures for PrimaDonna’s swim collection are very strong. In retail they are particularly looking forward to expanding Rigby & Peller in the United Kingdom, Germany and Asia. In the Netherlands the Lincherie concept will be given a stronger presence on the market within the “Lingerie Styling” experience. Full attention is being focused on Intimacy, although it had not moved into growth by late 2013/early 2014.”


more Financial and General Interest News >>

Published 02-28-2014 by Nick Monjo

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