SWEDEN: Bjorn Borg full-year profit slides
Swedish underwear company Björn Borg has seen its full-year net profit plummet 71%, due to one-off costs.
Profit after tax stood at SEK13.9m (US$2.2m) during the year ending 31 December, compared to SEK47.2m in the same period of the prior year.
The company said its operating profit was negatively affected by SEK12m in delayed shipments, SEK14m in one-off costs related to its Chinese business, and the resignation of CEO Arthur Engel.
Net sales fell 9% to SEK 499.2m from SEK551.4m last year. Excluding currency effects, sales were down 8%. Brand sales, excluding VAT, dropped 5% to SEK1.52bn from SEK1.60bn in the prior year.
Gross margin, however, improved slightly to 50.9% from 50.2% last year.
"As reported earlier this year, 2013 was marked by continued weak retail demand in many of Björn Borg's markets, particularly the Netherlands," said acting CEO Henrik Fischer.
"Together with the major shipment delays at the end of the year and disposal costs for the Chinese operations, this contributed to the significant decline in sales and earnings we are reporting for the full year and the fourth quarter."
He added that the group's operations in England and Finland were "developing positively" as were its own retail and e-commerce operations.
During the fourth quarter, the company swung to an after-tax loss of SEK11m from a SEK11.9m profit the year before. Sales declined 28% to SEK100.3m from SEK138.7m last year.
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