(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Wacoal’s worldwide sales fell 2.4% for the six months ended September 30, but net income rose 1.5%. The Japan-based firm, which does 83% of its business in Asia, noted that in the U.S., “sales at department stores, which are our major clients, remained unchanged” from the same period last year, but admitted “Sales from our b.tempt’d brand, featuring simple design, showed poor performance,” as did its Eveden products.
Overall, operations in the U.S. resulted in “operating income [that] exceeded the results for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year due to an increase in net sales and the effects of weak yen.”
Worldwide, for the first half of Wacoal’s fiscal year (which ends March 31, 2015), the company recorded net income of 6,530 million yen (about $56 million in current exchange rates) on sales of 96,190 million yen (about $849.1 million), compared to net income of 6,435 million yen ($56.8 million) on sales of 98,518 million yen ($868.7 million) the year before.
Wacoal reported that in the first six months of its fiscal year it did 17.3%, or approximately $146.9 million of its sales in all of Europe and North America combined. This is an increase from the same period in 2013, when those territories contributed 15.6% to Wacoal’s overall sales. (The company does not break out separate figures for North America and Europe).
Referring to its U.S. business, the company reported it was helped in the first half by “the strong performance of our T-shirt bra products since their launch in the spring. In addition, internet sales and sales from our business in surrounding countries showed strong performance, and as a result, overall sales on a local currency basis exceeded the results for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.”
Wacoal acknowledged some difficulties with Eveden, the brand it purchased in 2012. “With respect to Wacoal Eveden Limited, while sales in the United Kingdom remained unchanged from the previous fiscal year as a result of expanding sales channels for our Wacoal brand products, sales in other European countries in general performed poorly partially due to destabilization in Ukraine and the Middle East. Especially in France, while sales of swimwear products performed as initially planned, sales of our fashion products showed weak performance. In addition, sales from department stores in the United States showed poor performance due to the weak dollar, poor retail environment and a change of MD by certain clients. As a result, sales on a local currency basis fell below the results for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year, but sales on a yen converted basis largely exceeded the results for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year due to the sharp depreciation of the yen. In terms of profit, operating income largely fell below the results for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year as a result of a decline in sales profit resulting from decreased sales, and of costs incurred in connection with changes in our system of business in Europe.”
Finally, as reported earlier, Wacoal acknowledged that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the U.S. had issued a challenge that “advertising claims of some products lacked appropriate substantiation” and that “On September 29th, Wacoal America and FTC staff reached a tentative agreement that limits certain advertising claims and requires Wacoal America to issue refunds for such products to purchasers in the amount of $1.3 million.”
In its own press release on that date the FTC used more pointed language: “Specifically, the company made false and unsubstantiated claims that wearing iPants would: substantially reduce cellulite; cause a substantial reduction in the wearer’s thigh measurements; and destroy fat cells, resulting in substantial slimming. The complaint alleges that these claims are not true or substantiated by scientific evidence, and therefore also violate the FTC Act.”
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