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Wolford chair resigns as losses mount

Antonella Mei-Pochtler, chairperson at Austrian hosiery brand Wolford’s supervisory board, has resigned from the role after three years.

She will be replaced by deputy chairperson Claudia Beermann until the company’s next annual general meeting on 14 September.

The news comes as Wolford looks to sell a majority stake in the company, and is in the process of restructuring.

Mei-Pochtler said: “Important preconditions for the successful future of Wolford have been created on the basis of the jointly developed concept and immediate start of restructuring measures, the securing of financing and the initiation of a professional M&A process.”

Revenue at Wolford fell by 5% to €154.3m (£139m) for the year to 30 April, while total EBITDA plunged to a loss of €3.4m (£3m), compared with a profit of €8.4m (£7.6m) in 2016.

Including exceptional items, the firm made an operating loss of €15.7m (£14.2m), up from a loss of €2.9m (£2.6m) the prior year. 

Wolford said the results fell in line with its expectations for the financial year, and expects to see an uplift in profits next year.

A spokesman said: “Management only plans to generate slight revenue growth in the current 2017/18 financial year compared to the previous year. A time frame of two years has been designated for implementing planned restructuring measures.

“These measures will first take full effect starting in the 2018/19 financial year. Against this backdrop, Wolford still expects negative operating earnings in the current 2017/18 financial year, as it already communicated on 12 April. The company anticipates positive operating earnings again starting in the 2018/19 financial year.”

Wolford chief executive Ashish Sensarma left the business on 31 July, with chief operating officer and chief financial officer Axel Dreher stepping into the CEO role at the start of this month.

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