(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Felix Sulzberger, who has served for many years as the CEO of Calida Group (which also includes the Aubade lingerie line) has resigned and is being replaced by Reiner Pichler.
According to the company, Sulzberger is leaving “owing to differences of opinion with the board of directors and the main shareholder about the Calida Group’s strategic focus.”
Calida has recently transformed itself from a company that was exclusively selling intimates and underwear to a multi-line firm where those categories represent about half of it sales. Over the past couple of years, Calida took over the Lafuma Group, a producer of surfing, skiing, climbing and other outdoor products.
While financial results for the full year 2015 have not yet been released, for the first half net income at Calida dropped 86.5% to 700,000 Swiss francs, CHF, (about $728,703) at current exchange rates) while sales fell 14.8% to 168.1 million CHF (about $175 million).
In the first half of 2014 the firm reported net income of 5.2 million Swiss francs (about $5.4 million) on sales of 197.4 million Swiss francs (about $205.5 million).
The company said the sharp declines in the first half of 2015 were largely caused by “currency movements, which had been primarily caused directly and indirectly by the abandonment of the minimum exchange rate for the euro against the Swiss franc.” It added that according to its estimates, “adjusted for currency effects, the reduction in net sales was 4.8%.”
As it reported the results for the first half, the firm stated, “Considering these developments, the Calida Group’s working assumption, as already announced in March this year, is that it will report a noticeably lower result for the current business year, but nonetheless still a very solid one.”
According to the company announcement, “Reiner Pichler is a proven expert with huge experience and a first class track record in the international clothing industry,” adding that “The 53-year-old German, who also holds Swiss citizenship, began his career at Hugo Boss AG, where he rose to become a member of the sales executive in Germany. From 1991 to 1994 he was managing director of sales for the D/A/CH region at Gruppo Finanziario Tessile, Turin/Germany (brands including Giorgio Armani and Valentino). Reiner Pichler then took over as CEO of the Holy Fashion Group, which employs 1,400 people worldwide, operates in more than fifty countries and manages the Strellson, Joop! and Windsor brands. It also held the license for Tommy Hilfiger Tailored for Europe until 2012. At the start of 2014 Pichler moved to become CEO of German fashion group s.Oliver.”
The company added that, “Felix Sulzberger, took over leadership of the Calida Group 14 years ago when the firm was in a difficult situation, and he developed it from a traditional production operation into a market-focused international clothing group. During his time in office, sales were tripled and the company consistently achieved above-average profitability as it pursued the goal of longterm value creation. Thanks to a clever acquisition policy and the establishment of its own store networks, the Group gained a broader strategic base and continued to develop successfully. Today the Group is well positioned in the market with a consistent multi-brand and multi-channel strategy as well as a strong leadership structure. Felix Sulzberger has done an outstanding job,” says chairman of the board of directors Dr. Thomas Lustenberger.”
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