Groupe Lafuma reported revenues in the first half ended March 31 were down 6.5% in the first half or down 4.1% at constant exchange rates. Losses were trimmed to €0.8 million ($960,000) this year, compared to net
losses of over €3.2 million ($3.8 million) a year ago.
The year-ago period included an exceptional profit of €4.7 million ($5.6 million) realized from the sale of
the Millet trademark in South Korea.
Lafuma noted that following indicators demonstrate the effectiveness of the group's reorganization plan:
- A significant reduction in expenses over the period, especially external expenditure (-17%),
- a marked cutback in working capital requirements, mainly achieved through 17 million euro reduction in inventory levels, i.e. nearly 25% over one year,
- a continued reduction in debt levels, with net financial debt coming in at €58 million, meaning a gearing ratio down to 52%.
In this favorable context, the Group signed an agreement with its banks for the renewal of its short-term credit lines which would have fallen due on June 30, 2010.
Improvements in performances and balance sheet structure will continue into the second half of the year. The Group should, however, post a loss over the fiscal year, leading it to pursue its reorganization actions both in France and internationally.
In this context, Le Chameau announced a project to centralize its French industrial activities to a single site located at Pont dâ€Ouilly (Calvados), involving the closing of its boot manufacturing factory located at ChÃ¢teauvillain (Haute-Marne).
Moreover, Lafuma signed an agreement for the creation of a joint-venture with its South Korean partner LG Fashion for the purposes of developing the brand in China. This agreement will secure the necessary means to develop Lafuma in this high-growth country and supplants the organization set up in 2005 with a Hong Kong partner.