Interim report 9M 2014/15 – Continued revenue growth and margin improvement

Matas A/S
Quarterly report

Interim report 9M 2014/15 - Continued revenue growth and margin improvement

Announcement 27 2014/15

Allerød, 2015-02-04 07:43 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Q3 2014/15 revenue grew 2.2%
year on year to DKK 1,041 million. Revenue for the nine months ended 31
December 2014 grew 2.3% year on year to DKK 2,661 million. The like-for-like
growth rate was 0.8% in Q3 2014/15, compared with a like-for-like growth rate
of 5.5% in the same period of 2013/14. The like-for-like growth rate for the
first nine months of 2014/15 was 0.9%. The EBITA margin rose to 21.9% in Q3
2014/15 from 20.7% in the year-earlier period, primarily as a result of the
adverse impact of an extraordinary revaluation in Q3 2013/14 of recognised Club
Matas points. The underlying EBITA margin for Q3 2014/15 was marginally higher
than in the same quarter of the year-earlier period. 

Terje List, Chief Executive Officer, said in connection with the release of the
interim report: "Thanks to a good execution during the Christmas season, we
managed to improve both revenue and earnings for Q3 2014/15 as compared with
our very strong Q3 of 2013/14. The performance shows that we have retained our
strong position in a competitive and challenging retail market." 

Highlights of Q3 2014/15

  -- Q3 2014/15 revenue grew 2.2% year on year to DKK 1,041 million.
     Like-for-like growth was 0.8%, which was slightly lower than the expected
  -- Q3 2014/15 gross profit was DKK 481 million, and the gross margin was
     46.2%, which was an increase from 45.6% in Q3 2013/14. The improvement was
     attributable to the fact that the gross margin for Q3 2013/14 was adversely
     affected by a revaluation of recognised Club Matas points and the
     consolidation of acquired stores. The underlying gross margin was
     marginally lower in Q3 2014/15 than in the year-earlier period driven by
     normal quarter-on-quarter fluctuations.
  -- EBITA was DKK 228 million in Q3 2014/15, up from DKK 210 million in the
     year-earlier period, equivalent to an EBITA margin improvement to 21.9%
     from 20.7%. Excluding the negative effect of 1 percentage point of the
     revaluation of Club Matas points in Q3 2013/14, the underlying EBITA margin
     rose slightly in Q3 2014/15. Overall, the EBITA margin for the first nine
     months of FY 2014/15 was 18.2%, which was slightly higher than in
     year-earlier period.
  -- Profit after tax for Q3 2014/15 was DKK 144 million, and adjusted profit
     after tax net of amortisation of trademarks was DKK 158 million (Q3
     2013/14: DKK 150 million). Adjusted profit after tax for the first nine
     months of 2014/15 was DKK 320 million.
  -- Cash generated from operations rose to DKK 328 million in Q3 2014/15 (Q3
     2013/14: DKK 273 million), which was driven by positive developments in net
     working capital. The free cash flow in Q3 2014/15 was an inflow of DKK 182
     million (Q3 2013/14: an outflow of DKK 47 million). The free cash flow for
     the first nine months of 2014/15 was DKK 304 million.
  -- Gross debt stood at DKK 1,910 million as at 31 December 2014. The target of
     a gross debt of DKK 1,600-1,800 million remains unchanged. Net
     interest-bearing debt was DKK 1,574 million at 31 December 2014, equivalent
     to 2.4x LTM EBITDA before exceptional items as compared to 2.8x at the end
     of Q3 2013/14.

Outlook for 2014/15
The financial guidance for the full year remains unchanged from our previous
guidance of revenue for 2014/15 just short of DKK 3.5 billion based on an
estimated like-for-like growth rate for 2014/15 of 1-2%. 

The EBITA margin is still expected to be on a level with the 2013/14 EBITA

Conference call
Matas will host a conference call for investors and analysts on Wednesday, 4
February at 10:00 a.m. CET. The conference call and presentation will be
available on our investor website: 

Conference call access numbers for investors and analysts:

DK:                  +45 3272 8018       
UK (international):  +44 (0) 1452 555 131
US:                  +1 866 682 8490     

Matas A/S