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Oct 8, 2008
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Foreign markets help Douglas 2007/08 sales rise

By
Reuters
Published
Oct 8, 2008

FRANKFURT, Oct 8 (Reuters) - German fragrance-to-fashion retailer Douglas reported a 4.6 percent rise in its 2007/08 sales, meeting analysts' expectations, as international markets offset sluggish consumer spending at home. Douglas group said sales in the financial year 2007/08 rose to 3.139 billion euros ($4.21 billion) from 3 billion in the previous year, in line with the average estimate of 3.134 billion euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.

"Given our very respectable sales performance, we expect to just reach our earnings target as well," said Chief Executive Henning Kreke in a statement on Wednesday.

Douglas, which is due to report full-year results on Jan. 14, expects pretax profit of about 150 million euros for the financial year ending in September 2008.

The group's AppelrathCuepper women's fashion stores reported the weakest development for the year, with sales down 8.3 percent due to the difficult economic condition.

German retailers are struggling as consumers hold back on spending amid the current turmoil on financial markets.

Douglas' other units -- Douglas perfumeries, Thalia bookstores, Christ jewellery stores, and confectionery specialist Hussel -- all benefited from their international operations.

Douglas shares looked set to open 3.9 percent lower, according to pre-market data from brokers by 0630 GMT, broadly in line with the overall German market .GDAXI. (Reporting by Eva Kuehnen, Editing by Michael Shields)

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