Belgian lingerie group Van de Velde slumps in 2019

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Feb 27, 2020
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Van de Velde failed to rally in the second half of 2019, and its revenue for the financial year recorded a downturn. The Belgian lingerie specialist, owner of PrimaDonna, Andrès Sarda and Marie Jo, as well as lingerie chains Lincherie and Rigby & Peller, closed 2019 with a 4.7% decrease in revenue (the shortfall was 3% in like-for-like terms), down to €197 million.

Marie Jo’s Swim 2020 collection - Marie Jo

The decline was less sharp in the wholesale channel, through which Van de Velde serves some 5,000 retailers worldwide, and which lost 2.2%. In this channel, lingerie performed less satisfactorily than other categories, but the positive results of swimwear - a relatively new segment for Van de Velde - enabled the group to compensate, at least partially. Notably thanks to Marie Jo Swim, the latest beachwear line, introduced in 2018.

Retail sales, via Rigby & Peller (a lingerie chain operating in the UK, USA, Germany, Denmark and Dubai) and Dutch chain Lincherie, posted a 3.7% comparable sales shortfall. Retail sales were down 3.4% in the USA and 3.8% in Europe.

Paradoxically, while sales slumped, EBITDA improved. On a comparable basis, in other words taking into account equivalent seasonal shipments, it grew by 17%, reaching €41.9 million. Van de Velde indicated it has significantly reduced costs, by optimising operational procedures and streamlining its various departments. However, net income declined, from €25.5 million to €21.2 million, due to an “accounting effect” generated by “intergroup” dividends and debt, said Van de Velde.

For the future, the Belgian group, which has been based for 100 years in Schellebelle, hopes to start growing again in 2021 - not in 2020 - thanks to its current efforts at improving the brand portfolio and the services it offers to retailers.


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