Total Company net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 increased 8% over the same quarter last year to a record $739 million. Comparable Retail segment net sales, which include our comparable direct-to-consumer channel, increased 4%. Comparable Retail segment net sales increased 17% at Free People, 5% at Urban Outfitters and 1% at the Anthropologie Group. Wholesale segment net sales rose 18%. For the three months ended April 30, 2015, the gross profit rate decreased by 141 basis points versus the prior year's comparable period. The decline in gross profit rate was primarily due to lower initial margins at the Urban Outfitters Brand and higher delivery and fulfillment expense across the entire company. The deleverage in delivery and fulfillment expenses were partially due to the increase in direct-to-consumer penetration and the beginning of the South Carolina fulfillment center transition to Gap, Pennsylvania.
The Home Depot®, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $20.9 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2015, a 6.1 percent increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Comparable store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 were positive 6.1 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 7.1 percent. Net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 were $1.6 billion, or $1.21 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $1.4 billion, or $1.00 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2014. For the first quarter of fiscal 2015, diluted earnings per share increased 21.0 percent from the same period in the prior year.
Södra's operating profit for the first four months of the year amounted to SEK 941 million (503). Sales increased 7 percent to SEK 6,243 million and the operating margin improved to 15 percent (9). The earnings improvement for the first four-month period is the result of healthy demand for Södra's products and services and a favourable currency situation. Profit for the Södra Cell business area increased to SEK 968 million (517), while profit for Södra Wood amounted to SEK 22 million (21) and profit for Södra Skog to SEK 41 million (51).
Brent crude oil fell below $66 a barrel on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened and on evidence of ample supplies of Middle Eastern oil despite wars in northern Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The dollar rose to almost a one-week high against a basket of currencies, recovering from a four-month low and making oil and other commodities more expensive to consumers in non-dollar economies.
Financial highlights *Revenues grew to £111.1 million (2014: £109.5 million) *Profit before taxation and highlighted items** of £12.1 million (2014*: £12.0 million) *Profit before taxation £9.6 million (2014*: £9.5 million) *Final dividend of 5.08p per share (2014: 4.84p) making a total dividend of 6.10p per share for the year (2014: 5.82p per share) It has been a good year for Bloomsbury and we are pleased with the Group’s performance. The spirit of intense focus on performance combined with entrepreneurial drive saw us deliver an impressive result against a backdrop of change in our industry.
The price increase by Lecta will range from 6 to 8% and will be applied on its 2 side CWF papers. The price increase will be effective in paper deliveries from first July 2015. This price movement is unavoidable to offset rising manufacturing costs, particularly for raw materials.
The Group's consolidated sales went up to EUR 533.9 million and thus were 1.9 % above the comparative figure of the previous year (1Q 2014: EUR 523.9 million). This rise is mainly the result of increased business volume in the packaging division. Operating profit rose by 10.0 % or EUR 4.6 million to EUR 50.8 million. This growth is primari-ly attributable to the overall improved performance of the MM Packaging plants. Accordingly, the Group's operating margin reached 9.5 %, following 8.8 % in the first three months of the previous year.
The new production line will have annual pulp production capacity of 1.75 million tons. Combined with its existing capacity, already in operation, the Três Lagoas unit will reach total annual production capacity of 3 million tons, making it one of the world's largest eucalyptus pulp production sites. As a result, Fibria's total annual pulp production capacity, considering all of its units, will expand from the current 5.3 million tons to over 7 million tons. One of the largest private investments in Brazil focused on the export market, the amount invested in the Horizonte 2 project will reach R$7.7 billion (approximately US$2.5 billion) and draw on own funds from the company's strong cash generation as well as third-party funding from various sources, such as the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), export credit agencies (ECAs), the Midwest Development Fund, commercial banks and capital markets.
“Our European price increases are in response to the continued escalation of our key raw materials and other input costs in particular polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, as all major petrochemical suppliers increased prices over the last five months. Cumulatively, since January 2015, our petrochemical suppliers have increased their prices between 15 to 27%. We are committed to delivering the broadest and most innovative product portfolio to our customers and with that objective, we need to recover raw material cost increases”, said Gerd Wichmann, Vice President, Product Care Europe and Jonathon Durnford, Vice President Food Care Europe.
As consumer trends point to a continued mobile convergence, Brennan advanced the idea that mail can serve as a powerful complement to digital marketing campaigns and play a more prominent role in multi-channel marketing efforts. “When we extend that physical experience of mail into a mobile experience, mail delivers much greater value for the sender and receiver,” said Brennan. Citing the technology advances that enable a piece of mail to launch a website, video, or an interactive experience with technologies like augmented reality and QR codes, the Postmaster General believes mail can be a powerful tool for marketers to spark product discovery and drawing consumers into the digital ecosystem of their particular brand.