Sex shop giant Beate Uhse plans expansion

15th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 August 2005, BERLIN - 'Sex up your life' is the motto of Europe's biggest sex shop group, Beate Uhse AG, and company figures Monday showed that it seems to work.

15 August 2005

BERLIN - 'Sex up your life' is the motto of Europe's biggest sex shop group, Beate Uhse AG, and company figures Monday showed that it seems to work.

Despite retailers around Europe complaining that high unemployment means that consumers have been reluctant to open their wallets and spend big, shares in Beate Uhse rose 2.46 per cent to EUR 6.25 Monday after the company posted a jump in both first- half earnings and turnover.

Group chief Otto Christian Lindemann confirmed that the German- based company was on course to achieve its full-year earnings goal after first-half earnings rose to EUR 8.9 million and turnover increased by 6.3 per cent to EUR 144.1 million.

The company said that despite a continuing lacklustre consumer environment, Beate Uhse is expecting turnover to rise by five per cent this year and pre-tax profit to increase by 15 per cent.

Beate Uhse forged the first 'erotic stock' in Europe when it was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1999 and has found that the sex business seems somewhat removed from the trials and tribulations of normal economic life.

Now, with 313 sex shops in ten countries, Beate Uhse sees itself on an expansion path and has identified eastern Europe as a major area of growth.

The group, which sells magazines, videos and sex toys in its stores and through its catalogues, has already raised the number of shops it operates in Poland to eight and plans to open its first shop in Hungary next month.

Turnover from its stores rose by 2.8 per cent to EUR 40.6 million in the first half. The main driving force behind the company's earnings was its mail order business which posted a 15.1 per cent rise to EUR 67.9 million in turnover in the period.

But it was not all good news for Beate Uhse. The group's attempt to break into the giant U.S. mail order market appeared to have failed and the company said it was closing down its American mail order operations.

After five years and losses of about EUR 6 million it is clear that the export of the European mail order concept has not been a success, said Lindemann.

However, Beate Uhse has also just opened its sixth airport shop in Hamburg's arrival hall and two Fun Centres on the major highway link between Hanover and the German capital, Berlin.

After the success of the new stores in Germany, the company said it is now planning to export the concept to other countries. The group also said that its Beate Uhse TV channel had increased the area that it covers and expects viewer ratings to grow.

DPA

Subject: German news

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