ESCADA AG recorded business performance for first three months of fiscal year 2005/2006 (reporting date: October 31, 2005) in line with expectations. According to preliminary figures, Group sales for the women's luxury fashion manufacturer were up from EUR 160.1 million to EUR 166.7 million, an increase of +4.1 % on the same quarter of last year. Revenues generated by the ESCADA business area rose 3.4%, up from EUR 109.9 million to EUR 113.6 million, while the PRIMERA business area recorded a 6.6 %-increase in turnover from EUR 49.8 million to EUR 53.1 million.
At 20.5 million, ESCADA's consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the first quarter 2005/2006 exactly matched last year's earnings for the same quarter. Growth in sales and the 3.4%-improvement in gross profit margin were offset by moderately higher operating costs (aggregate of personnel expenses and other operating expenses) and lower operating income. The increase in costs was essentially the result of the expansion of BiBA retail chain, higher marketing expenses for the ESCADA brand as well as exchange rate differences. With foreign exchange rates having risen compared to last year, exchange rate differences positively affected gross profits whilst affecting other operating expenses negatively.
The consolidated profit after taxes and minority interests totaled EUR 6.2 million for the first quarter (vs. EUR 5.9 million, first quarter 2004/2005). Quarter comparison has to take account of the fact that sales in last year's quarter were positively affected by shipments brought forward from the second quarter.
For fiscal year 2005/2006 the Board of Management estimates Group sales to rise by a mid single-digit percent (2004/2005: EUR 648.6 million) and a further improvement of EBITDA (2004/2005: EUR 65.1 million).