In the first nine months of the 2009 fiscal year, the net income of Garant Schuh + Mode was slightly down by 2.1 percent and reached €70.3 million. The management is, therefore, optimistic that it will reach an income of between €89 million and €92 million as originally scheduled. Compared with the first nine months of 2008, the gross profit remained stable at €37.3 million.

In the business unit of centralized invoicing and settlement, the headquarters has felt the cautious orders of its retailers in light of the troubled economic environment. Total invoicing was down by 4.5 percent and reached €610.2 million. With a decline of 2.4 percent, the third quarter was better though than the first six months at -5.8 percent. In the first nine months, net income was €50 million, and gross profit €27.9 million.

Broken down geographically, the countries that have been performing well remain the same, notably France, Switzerland and Belgium. Centralized invoicing for French retailers was up by 25.8 percent to €41.9 million, the Swiss by 4.3 percent to €36.7 million and the Belgian 3.1 percent to €121.6 million. The German core market suffered, however, from a decline of 8.2 percent to €179.6 million, representing 29.4 percent of the entire group’s centralized invoicing compared with 30.6 percent in the previous year’s period.

Overall, the number of affiliated retailers has increased by 58 to 3,464 since the beginning of the year. Double-digit declines were recorded for Austria, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, but none of these regions represents more than 4 percent of Garant’s invoicing.

By product ranges, invoicing for footwear slipped by 2.6 percent to €452.3 million, leathergoods by 13.5 percent to €55.5 million and sporting goods by 7 percent to €102.4 million.

Garant’s own retail and wholesale operations had somewhat stable net income at €42 million while the gross profit increased by 7.5 percent to €14.3 million. This division is carried by Pasito-Fricker, which is Garant’s own retail operation in Switzerland, and Garex, which trades the group’s exclusive brands and labels that do not take part in Garant’s centralized invoicing.