Bene: Reduced Operating Loss in the First Quarter

Published: June 22, 2011; 10:38 · (Vindobona)

The Austrian office furniture supplier achieved an increase in sales of 18.5% . The management still expects a slightly negative result for the full business year.

Bene: Reduced Operating Loss in the First Quarter / Picture: © Bene Furniture

After the positive trend reversal in the second half-year of 2010/11, the Vienna Stock Exchange listed Bene AG likewise continued the positive momentum in the first quarter of 2011/12. Particularly in comparison with the first quarter of the financial year 2010/11, the Austrian office furniture supplier significantly increased the key earnings figures and achieved considerable sales growth in almost all sales markets. In the first three months of the current business year, total sales reached € 44.3m and thus were 18.5 % higher than the reference value of the past year.

Earnings also showed a positive development in the first quarter of 2011/12. EBITDA increased by € 1.8m to € 0.9m (Q1 2010/11: € – 0.9m). The Bene Group likewise significantly improved the EBIT, which with € – 1.3m was still negative, however was 59.4 % higher than the reference value of the previous year. In the same period, the gross profit margin (= revenue +/- inventory changes – expenses for materials and supplies in relation to revenues) reached 52.8 % and thus despite an expansion in sales was slightly higher than the reference value of the prior year (Q1 2010/11: 52.7 %).

In comparison with the balance sheet date January 31, 2011, as of April 30, 2011 the balance sheet total decreased by € 10.8m to € 138.4m (January 31, 2011: € 149.2m). Accordingly, the equity ratio came to 26.3 % (January 31, 2011: 25.9 %).

Investments in replacements at the site in Waidhofen/Ybbs as well as the expansion and the modernization of the show room in London primarily determined the investment volume of the first three months of 2011/12, which with € 1.8m (Q1 2010/11: € 1.4m) was slightly higher than the comparison value of the previous year.

On the reporting date April 30, 2011, the company occupied 1,280 employees in total and thus 47 persons or 3.8 % more than on April 30, 2010.

The management expects a further substantial improvement in sales for the subsequent quarters of 2011/12, however, it generally remains only carefully optimistic with regard to estimates for the business year 2011/12; although a significant global economic growth may be assumed, the markets and the price levels will still remain very volatile. Hence, the Management Board expects that the Bene Group may once again improve the earnings situation for the financial year 2011/12, but will report a slightly negative result for the overall business year 2011/12.

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