Dutch retail chain Hema to be sold
Hema is for sale, owner Lion Capital announced with the retail chain's quarterly figures on Thursday. In the second quarter, Hema's turnover increased, but the company still suffered a loss. Lion Capital is examining the strategic options, including selling the company. An adviser for the sale has already been appointed - Swiss bank Credit Suisse, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch retail chain has been operating on a loss for years, and that continued in the second quarter of 2017. The EBITDA result, which leaves out interest, tax and depreciation, improved by over 13 percent to 24.8 million euros and the gross profit margin also rose. But Hema still suffered a loss of 29.1 million euros, compared to a loss of 9.6 million euros in the second quarter last year.
The massive loss in the second quarter can largely be attributed to once-off financing charges of 20.1 million euros. Without this, Hema's figures would have come out at a loss of 9 million euros - a better result than in the second quarter of 2016.
Turnover mostly increased outside Hema's home market of the Netherlands. Three quarter of the chain's sales still happened in the Netherlands, but this revenue only increased by 0.7 percent. The real revenue growth happened in Germany (+22 percent), France (+17 percent) and Spain and Great Britain. In Belgium and Luxembourg, Hema's second home market, turnover increased 2.7 percent.
Private equity company Lion Capital bought Hema in 2007, creating massive debts to finance the acquisition, according to RTL. Under Lion Capital, Hema saw an increase in turnover for 10 consecutive quarters and better results for six quarters. Despite this, Hema is still in the red.