In the 3rd quarter ended Sept. 30, the Belgian retailer’s net profit climbed by 36.4 percent to €4,800,000 and represented 6.1 percent of its turnover, compared with 4.1 percent in the year-ago period. Brantano Group’s gross margin improved by 1.3 percentage points to 51.3 percent. Operating cash flow (EBITDA) rose by 1.6 percent to €9.7 million, while the operating result (EBIT) increased by 5.6 percent to €7.5 million. The improved results came despite the previously reported drop in sales of 9.3 percent to €78.9 million.

During the quarter Brantano had to overcome a difficult market and unseasonably warm weather, which made for a difficult transition into its winter business, but there may be more trouble ahead. Company officials are concerned about market conditions in the UK after the middle of December.

At the end of the quarter, Brantano had 125 stores in Belgium and Luxembourg, 140 shops in the UK and 9 franchises in the Middle East giving the company a total of 274 doors. It has plans to open 5 more stores in the UK during the 4th quarter. For the full fiscal 2005 year, Brantano is projecting a turnover of €300 million and an operating result of €18 million.