Van de Velde: profits up and CEO to leave
Although he has announced his resignation, Ignace Van Doorselaere stated "I am fully confident in the current strategic direction." Van Doorselaere, the CEO of Belgian lingerie group Van de Velde, actually announced his intention to leave, to devote himself to new projects. In order to manage the transition, he will stay in his post until the end of the year.
Indeed the group, owner of the Prima Donna, Marie Jo and Andres Sarda brands and of the Rigby & Peller and Lincherie chains, performed altogether satisfactorily in 2015. Revenue was confirmed at €209 million, as reported in January, and growth was just over 5%.
The group's profitability performance has just been published, and it is also positive. Its profit reached €41 million in 2015, equivalent to a rise of more than 20%. These healthy results were ascribable to a gross margin improvement (chiefly owing to exchange rate effects) as well as to the fine growth on the wholesale market by all three lingerie brands. Retail contributed only a little to the year's positive dynamic.
The thorn in Van de Velde's side remains in fact the former US chain Intimacy, transferred in the course of 2015 under the British flag of Rigby & Peller. The group stated that, since the declining trend of the fifteen or so US stores has not been reversed yet, a new international retail management team will be put in place this year and charged with improving the situation. A change in personnel that will feature among the last transition 'tasks' entrusted to CEO Ignace Van Doorselaere, who took up his role in 2004.
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