CEO Lauri Veijalainen, Q1 Interim Report 2018 (27.4.2018):
Our first-quarter performance was at last year's level, as we had estimated. Our revenue declined, but gross margin improved. Our inventories are on a healthy level, and thus there were considerably smaller markdowns in the first quarter than in 2017. We expect a similar margin development to continue throughout the rest of the year.
As the affordable fashion market is changing rapidly, Lindex will look more closely at its store network. Loss-making stores will be closed. The total number of stores is estimated to decrease by over 20 stores this year, compared to 2017. This is more than we estimated at the start of the year and reflects the weakened development in the Swedish fashion market.
Real Estate continued to perform well during the quarter thanks to increased rental income in all markets. Investigations related to possible divestments of the Nevsky Centre and the Book House have actively continued. Both properties are now classified as assets held for sale.
In Retail, Stockmann also launched a digital acceleration project at the beginning of 2018, with the aim of increasing e-commerce and reinforcing the omnichannel approach. As part of the digital project, Stockmann has made a digital partnership agreement with OP Bank.
The Crazy Days campaign, which took place at Stockmann stores after the first quarter, went very well. Campaign sales were up by a total of 4%, with clear growth both in Finland and the Baltics. The online store achieved a sales growth of 19%, which demonstrates that Crazy Days now is a truly omnichannel campaign. The successful campaign give us a solid start to the spring sales.