BORÅS, Sweden--()--Regulatory News:
MQ’s total sales for the first quarter are expected to reach MSEK 364, a decrease of 4.0 percent compared to the corresponding period last year, while like-for-like sales decreased with 6.6 percent. The preliminary operating profit is estimated to between MSEK 20 and MSEK 24. Further cost-savings of about MSEK 15 have been identified. The proposed dividend remains.
After six consecutive quarters where MQ has outperformed the market, and with increased market shares, the first quarter (September-November 2012) was weaker than expected. MQ’s sales during the first quarter are expected to reach MSEK 364 (380), a decrease of 4.0 attributable to a weak range of products in the first fall delivery.
MQ has during the quarter increased its marketing activities according to plan, with wider reach and increased intensity to partly drive sales in a persistently tough market but also strengthen the brand with the launch of a new communication platform. The weaker sales, together with increased investments in media activities, affect the operating profit (EBIT), which is estimated to be between MSEK 20 and MSEK 24, compared to MSEK 42 for the corresponding period last year. Inventory is well balanced as a large part of the early fall products have been sold.
We are of course not satisfied with the outcome for the quarter where the range of products in the early fall delivery resulted in weak sales in October. The current assortment available in-store is now better, and sales for November have stabilized. However, the loss in sales earlier during the quarter combined with increased investments in marketing will result in lower earnings, comments Mats Gärdsell, CEO of MQ.
In addition to the previously communicated saving measures of about MSEK 30 annually, the company has identified further savings of about MSEK 15 annually, which will be gradually enforced as of December. The savings will reach full effect during the current fiscal year.
The Board’s proposed dividend of SEK 0.87 (1.10) per share remains.
MQ’s interim report for the first quarter of the fiscal year (September-November 2012) will be published on December 20th 2012, as previously communicated.
The information is such that MQ is obligated to publish under the Swedish Securities Market Act. The information was submitted for publishing on December 3, 2012 at 07:15 a.m.
MQ is one of Sweden’s leading retailers of fashion brands. Through a select mix of proprietary and external brands, MQ offers men’s and women’s clothes with a high fashion content in attractive stores. The store chain currently comprises 119 stores and the aim is to establish MQ as the leading retailer of fashion brands in the Nordic region. The MQ share has been listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm since 18 June 2010. For more information, please visit our website at www.mq.se
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