SAINTE-JULIE, QUEBEC -- (Marketwired) -- 06/13/13 -- In the first quarter of 2013, Groupe Bikini Village inc. (TSX: GBV) ("Groupe Bikini Village" or the "Corporation")'s sales declined compared to the first quarter of 2012. In addition to the ongoing challenging retail conditions experienced in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 and in February 2013, sales were also negatively impacted by a shift of one week in the fiscal calendar. Due to the 53rd week in fiscal 2012, the 13 weeks of the first quarter in fiscal 2013 are not the same weeks reported in the first quarter of 2012 (the Corporation's first quarter began a week later this year). The result of this shift, combined with the seasonal fluctuations normally present in the company's sales, is that the first quarter of 2013 loses one strong week of February sales (an average weekly run rate of $1 million) and gains one softer week of sales in May (an average weekly run rate of $0.4 million). In the second quarter, this situation will reverse, as the Corporation gains one strong week in early August (an average weekly run rate of $1 million) and loses one softer week in early May (an average weekly run rate of $0.4 million).
2013 first quarter results
Net sales for the first quarter, which began on February 3, 2013 and ended May 4, 2013, were $8.5 million, compared to $9.7 million in the first quarter of 2012, which ran January 29 through April 28 of that year. Due to the 53rd week in fiscal year 2012, the comparable sales result for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, which compares sales from the same number of stores year-over-year, covers a 13-week period ending May 5, 2012 as opposed to April 28, 2012. The Corporation's first quarter comparable sales decreased by 5.7%, due to the continuing challenging retail conditions experienced in the fourth quarter of 2012 and in the month of February. However, comparable sales have gradually strengthened throughout March and April.
The Corporation's operating loss (EBITDA(1)) for the first quarter of 2013 was $745,000, compared to operating margin (EBITDA(1)) of $109,000 for the same period in the previous year. The decrease in the operating margin is due to a decrease in the marginal contribution resulting essentially from lower sales volume and a decrease in gross margins owing to increased promotional activities.
For the first quarter ended May 4, 2013, the Corporation's net loss was $859,000 (($0.45) per share, basic and diluted), as compared to net loss of $300,000 (($0.16) per share, basic and diluted) for the first quarter ended April 28, 2012.
"We have undertaken immediate action to quickly recoup the first quarter of 2013's shortfall in sales (other than the temporary shortfall due to the one-week shift in the fiscal calendar)," said Yves Simard, Groupe Bikini Village inc. President and CEO. "Two leases that were scheduled to end in the first quarter were extended on favourable terms to cover the better-performing summer season. In addition, the opening of a store originally scheduled for the end of July was moved up to the beginning of May."
Simard said Groupe Bikini Village expects its market to remain challenging, highly-competitive and price-sensitive, which will continue to put pressure on comparable sales. "However, the changes and investments we have made in our retail network - and the resulting in-store experience it offers our customers - will still help us succeed," he said.
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