Nuance posts +8.8% increase in like-for-like first-half sales despite tough trading conditions – 09/08/08

SWITZERLAND. The Nuance Group recorded sales of CHF826.6 million (US$764.1 million) for the first six months of 2008.

On a like-for-like basis – when restated for exchange rate impacts and operations closed in the first half of 2007 in Copenhagen and Vancouver – that represents a year-on-year gain of +8.8%. EBITDA, on a like-for-like basis, rose +9.1%. No other figures were released.

Nuance said that strong sales growth compared to last year was recorded in Singapore, Hong Kong, across European operations and in North America.

It commented: “Singapore, in particular, showed good growth following the opening of Terminal 3 at Changi Airport with perfume and cosmetics sales +14% above last year, while Hong Kong airport sales grew by +15% compared to last year, driven by good passenger volumes and spend.”

The Nuance Group President and CEO Roberto Graziani: “We are above our expectations and last year’s results despite a more challenging economic and industry environment”

The growth in European operations mainly came from strong performances in Switzerland, Sweden and Turkey, where passenger spend levels were well above last year, Nuance said.

During the six month period Nuance started operations in India with commencement of business at Hyderabad and Bangalore airports in association with local partner Shoppers’ Stop.

The Nuance Group President & CEO Roberto Graziani said: “I am proud of what we have achieved in the first half of the year: we are above our expectations and last year’s results despite a more challenging economic and industry environment.

“We are well aware of the challenges facing us for the second half of the year coming from the general economic slowdown, overall passenger volumes and weaknesses in certain key currencies.

“We therefore have to carefully control our cost base, continue to find innovative solutions with our vendor and landlord partners, and to further drive passenger spend rates to deliver the objectives that we have set ourselves for 2008.”

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