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Gerry Weber board to act on 'unsatisfactory' perfomance

Gerry Weber International has launched a programme to “realign” the business in a bid to counter its falling earnings and margins.

Gerry Weber

Details of the realignment will not be disclosed until a press conference on February 26.

The Halle-based mainstream womenswear company, which owns the Gerry Weber brand, said EBITDA dropped to €115m (£88m) in the year to October 31 2015, down from €134.2m (£102.7m) the previous year. EBITDA margin also fell, down from 15.7% to 12.6%.

Sales from its brands, which also include Taifun – for women in their mid-30s and above – and plus-size womenswear label Samoon, fell 5.4% to €805m (£616m).

Munich-based women’s fashion group, Hallhuber, which Gerry Weber International bought in February 2015 saw its like-for-like sales rise by 3.2%.

Total group sales were up 8.1% to €920m (£698m) for the year thanks largely to Hallhuber, which contributed around €115m (£87m) in revenues.

However, the board described the group’s performance as “unsatisfactory”, blaming a “challenging market environment for the fashion industry”.

Chief executive Ralf Weber said the measures designed to aid a return to profitability, implemented in summer 2015 when the business issued a profit warning, have not been sufficient. These included strict cost management, accelerating Hallhuber’s expansion and rolling out an in-season management system.

“We cannot be satisfied with the past financial year,” said Weber. “Our results and the continued difficult situation of the German and international textile industry show very clearly that our company is still facing challenges.

“The measures initiated since summer 2015 are not sufficient to optimally position our company for the future. The executive board is determined to get Gerry Weber International back on the path to success and to take the required measures with great determination.

”We are therefore developing a programme aimed at realigning the group and will provide detailed information about this programme, its objectives and individual measures at the annual press conference on February 26.”

Gerry Weber has 217 stockists in the UK and Ireland, as well as 16 stores and an outlet in Swindon. It has two franchise stores operated by Northern Ireland-based Dixons. It also has 12 UK and Ireland concessions, including around seven in House of Fraser.

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