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Sprider H1 Consolidated Sales Add 20.1%

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Sprider stores said Thursday consolidated sales for the first half of 2009 increased by 20.1% and amounted € 79,041 thou over € 65.807 thou in the first half of 2008. 

The company attributes the increase is to the organic growth of the existing sales network, mainly concerning activity in Greece, as well as to the new points of sales established within the last year., noting that the Group inaugurated six (6) new stores during the first six months of 2009.

Group gross profit amounted € 47,796 thou versus € 44.016 thou in last year’s first half, up by 8.6%. he Group’s Management, in order to tackle the consequences from the global financial crisis, which inevitably affected the Greek as well as the wider South East European market, have set as the strategic goals for this year to increase market share and to maintain solid operating cash flow, it said. 

In order to fulfill the above goals, the Group reduced prices, in order to attract as many consumers as possible at SPRIDER STORES. As a result the consolidated gross margin reduced by 6.4 percentage points to 60.5% versus 66.9% in the first half last year.

Group EBITDA reached € 14,181 thou over € 9,696 thou in the respective period last year, posting an increase of 46.3%, confirming the group’s successful expansion model as the new points of sales established during the past two years are becoming more and more efficient, making solid steps towards maturity. Group operating expenses, before depreciation, during H1 2009 amounted € 37,712 thou over € 35,098 thou on June 30, 2008, marking an increase of just 7.4%, reflecting the retention of operating expenses, achieved within the current year.

As a result of the above and given the fact that depreciation as a percent of sales remained at approximately the same levels as at the first half 2008, consolidated EBIT amounted € 8,860 thou over € 5,607 thou in the respective period of 2008, increased by 58.0%.

Group EBT stood at € 8,533 thou over € 6,285 thou in the first half of 2008, marking an increase of 35.8%. Finally, group EAT in the first half of 2009 posted an increase of 16.8% amounted to € 5,442 thou over € 4,661 thou in the first half of 2008.

“At this point it is meaningful to review the results of the parent company, which includes solely the activity of the Group within Greece. These results confirm the growing dynamics of SPRIDER STORES and grant its leading position in the Greek apparel market. Moreover, they reveal that the current adverse economic conjuncture, has affected the countries of South East Europe, where the Group is active, more than Greece,” the announcement reads.

However, Management considers that both the growth factors and the investments in these countries are still valid and expect that as the global economy steadily recovers, these countries will fuel the Group’s growth in the years to come. Indicatively, parent company’s EBITDA reached € 15,843 thou over € 9,440 thou in the respective period last year, posting an increase of 67.8%. Consolidated EBIT amounted € 11,379 thou over € 6,034 thou in the respective period of 2008, increased by 88.6%. Group EBT stood at € 10,707 thou over € 6,197 thou in the first half of 2008, marking an increase of 72.8%. Finally, group EAT in the first half of 2009 posted an increase of 64.8% and amounted to € 7,457 thou over € 4,525 thou in the first half of 2008.

The Group’s growth and positive course in H1 2009 is considered important, given the unprecedented adverse economic conjuncture worldwide. It also confirms the management’s strategic choices, which concern mainly the expansion of its retail network, having established 6 new points of sale within the first half of 2009. Thus, the Group today operates in total 105 points of sales, of which 83 are located in Greece and 22 are located in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Cyprus.

Concerning FY 2009, under the spectrum of the prevailing uncertainty stemming from the recent global financial crisis and the difficulty of determining both the depth and duration of the current global recession, the Group will not release guidance concerning the financial results of FY 2009. It should be noted that the guidance already released pursuant to the October 6, 2009 press release is not in force.
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