S.Oliver Group closed the 2009 fiscal year with group sales up 9.45% to €893 million. With 46 new branches opening in locations of strategic importance and 25 new franchise operations, s.Oliver continued with the development of its retail business and increased both its national and international presence. Highlights of the new openings were the flagship stores in Frankfurt, Hanover and Würzburg, on the famous Stephansplatz in Vienna, and in Basel.

Measures initiated in previous years to optimize the business continued through 2009. The main focus of these investments was on developing the retail business and an associated increase in personnel. Significant amounts were invested in IT to pare down processes, and this will continue in 2010. S.Oliver’s new product line for larger sizes was launched at the end of 2009, and has been available in stores since March 2010.

“We are proud that we are closing 2009 as one of the most successful years in the company’s history,” said CEO Thomas Steinhart. “Slender structures and targeted investments have enabled us to significantly increase our productivity.”

S.Oliver Group’s business activities will continue to be dominated by its wholesale activities. Retail continues to evolve into an important area; representing 33% of group turnover, it is the second biggest business division after the approx. 54% of its wholesale activities. Retail turnover increased 23.69% over the previous year. The second largest increase (17%) in revenue came from its online business.

S.Oliver will continue to expand its independent retail division both in Germany and abroad throughout 2010. There are plans for 18 more stores in Germany in 2010, three in Austria, two each in Belgium, the Netherlands and India, and one each in Poland and Slovakia.

—Isabel Mühlbauer