Sales increase in both distribution channels
Currency-adjusted sales in Europe including the Middle East and Africa rose by 2% during the past fiscal year. Sales in the Group's own retail business rose by 2% in the reporting currency to EUR 975 million (2016: EUR 957 million). This is equivalent to a 4% increase in local currencies. On a comp store and currency-adjusted basis, sales increased by a percentage rate in the low single-digits. Sales with customers in the wholesale channel increased slightly to EUR 706 million (2016: EUR 703 million). Currency-adjusted sales rose by 1%.
Once again significant sales growth in the core market of Great Britain
In Germany, sales came to EUR 448 million and were thus at the prior year level (2016: EUR 448 million). Sales remained stable both in the Group's own retail business and in the wholesale business. In Great Britain both distribution channels saw a growth in sales. Sales in the Group’s reporting currency there, at EUR 325 million overall, were up 2% on the prior year (2016: EUR 317 million). In local currency, the market achieved a significant increase in sales of 9% thanks to solid local demand and robust business with tourists. In France, sales came to EUR 165 million, down 5% on the prior year (2016: EUR 173 million). Stable sales growth in the Group’s own retail business was unable to make up for the decline in wholesale business in this market. At EUR 134 million, sales in the Benelux countries were up 3% on the prior year (2016: EUR 131 million). Both distribution channels contributed to the increase.
Segment profit stable
At EUR 520 million, segment profit in Europe was slightly up on the previous year (2016: EUR 519 million). The increase in sales was almost balanced by higher marketing expenses and higher expenses in the Group’s own retail business. At 30.9%, the adjusted EBITDA margin was 30 basis points below the prior-year figure (2016: 31.2%). Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 25