Brantano Group’s turnover for the 3rd quarter of 2004 ended Sept. 30 reached €87.0 million, up by 8.9 percent from the same period in 2003. For the first nine months of 2004, revenues totaled €243.2 million, up 5.8 percent, but excluding exchange rate effects, they would have risen by only 4.5 percent.

In Belgium and Luxembourg, sales reached €102.6 million during the first nine months, representing 42.2 percent of the Belgian-based retail group’s total. This was up by 0.8 percent from 2003, mostly thanks to a rise of 3.4 percent in the 3rd quarter. Over the three quarters, sales on a comparable basis increased by 1.7 percent in Belgium, boosted by a rise of 4.4 percent during the 3rd quarter. Two stores were affected by a fire in Belgium in 2004, and one new store was opened.

In the UK and the Middle East, the turnover for the three quarters reached €122.7 million, up 13.0 percent, or 10.1 percent in constant currencies, representing 50.4 percent of total sales. Here also the rate of increase on a comparable basis was stronger in the latest quarter, raising the growth for the nine months to 6.7 percent from the 4.7 percent rate reached during the first half of 2004.

Four stores were opened in the UK during the nine-month period. Following the strong results in the UK, the group plans to focus its expansion on this market. It opened a further three stores there in October and is planning more store openings later this year.

The turnover in the Netherlands amounted to €12.1 million over the first nine months, down 6.8 percent, as the group had 12 fewer Dutch stores during the period than in 2003. On a comparable basis sales in Holland actually rose by 3.3 percent.

In Denmark, the turnover for the first nine months reached €5.9 million, down 9.4 percent, with sales on a comparable basis reduced by 8.6 percent in the 9-month period and by 4.8 percent in the 3rd quarter alone. One store was closed.

The group now has 318 stores: 136 in the UK, 125 in Belgium, 39 in the Netherlands and 14 in Denmark, plus four franchised stores in the Middle East.