Swedish apparel company Björn Borg AB has reported an 8.7% decline in first-half net profit, due to lower sales and margins.
Profit after tax stood at SEK9.4 million ($1.5 million) for the first six months of the year to June 30, compared to SEK10.3 million in the same period of last year.
Sales slipped 3% to SEK 239.2 million from SEK246 million. Excluding currency effects, sales were flat. Gross margin dropped slightly to 49.7% from 49.8% in the prior year.
CEO Arthur Engel said: “We increased our sales during the quarter and noted positive development in our retail operations, both in Björn Borg stores and our e-commerce.
“The recently acquired operations in Finland contributed positively to the group’s results, which at the same time were affected negatively by a retail climate in the Netherlands that remains weak.”
During the second quarter, however, profit after tax more than doubled to SEK3.4 million from SEK1 million last year, while sales climbed 2% to SEK107.8 million versus SEK105.5 million.
The company said it is still evaluating various alternatives for China, where a discontinuation of operations in 2013 may be a possible outcome.
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