Hornbach begins 2015/2016 financial year on successful note

Interim report for 1st quarter: Despite record growth in previous year, consolidated sales rise a further 1.6 percent to Euro 1,052 million / Like-for-like sales almost match previous year’s figure / As expected, substantial base effects lead earnings to fall short of high figures for 1st quarter of 2014/2015

Neustadt a. d. Weinstrasse, June 26, 2015.

The Hornbach Group (Hornbach Holding AG Group) has begun the 2015/2016 financial year on a successful note and can stand up to comparison with the previous year’s record quarter. Sales at the Hornbach Holding AG Group grew 1.6 percent to Euro 1,052.1 million in the first three months (March 1 to May 31, 2015). At the largest operating subgroup, Hornbach-Baumarkt-AG (DIY retail), sales rose 1.9 percent to Euro 995.2 million in the first quarter of 2015/2016 (2014/2015: Euro 976.7 million). Group-wide like-for-like sales net of currency items at the Hornbach DIY stores with garden centers slipped year-on-year by 1.1 percent, thus almost matching the standard set following the sharp jump in sales in the previous year (plus 14.6 percent). In line with expectations, substantial base effects prevented earnings from matching the high figures reported for the previous year’s quarter. The shortfall in earnings should nevertheless be made up for in the further course of the financial year.

Group CFO Roland Pelka is very satisfied with the company’s performance in the first three months of the 2015/2016 financial year. “Given a 16 percent jump in sales, the standard set in the previous year’s quarter was extremely high. We managed to generate further growth, and that despite the lower number of business days this year.” Sales for the first quarter of 2015/2016 include two stores newly opened in Saarbrucken (replacement location) and Regau (Austria). As of May 31, 2015, Hornbach operated a group-wide total of 147 DIY retail outlets (February 28, 2015: 146), of which 97 stores in Germany and 50 in other European countries.

On a like-for-like basis, i.e. excluding sales at stores newly opened or closed in the past twelve months, and net of currency items, consolidated sales for the first quarter fell 1.1 percent, and thus only marginally short of the level achieved in the previous year's quarter. Including currency items, the Group even generated like-for-like growth of 0.3 percent.

Sales at Hornbach’s stores in its home market showed slight growth of 0.2 percent to Euro 575.7 million (2014/2015: Euro 574.5 million), compared with growth of 20.0 percent one year earlier. On a like-for-like basis and given two business days fewer than in the previous year’s period, domestic sales dropped slightly by 2.4 percent (2014/2015: plus 19.4 percent). Based on the company’s own figures, Hornbach thus significantly outperformed the sector average in Germany once more and gained further market share (2014: 11 percent).

Outside Germany, in the first quarter of 2015/2016 Hornbach maintained the positive sales trend already initiated in the past financial year. Including recent new store openings, sales in other European countries, where our DIY business activities in eight countries outside Germany are pooled, grew by 4.3 percent to Euro 419.6 million (2014/2015: Euro 402.1 million). The international share of sales at the Hornbach-Baumarkt-AG subgroup increased from 41.2 percent to 42.2 percent. Like-for-like sales in other European countries grew by 0.7 percent net of currency items (2014/2015: plus 8.2 percent) and by 4.0 percent including currency items (2014/2015: plus 6.7 percent).

The Hornbach Baustoff Union GmbH (HBU) subgroup also maintained its ground well in the first quarter of 2015/2016 compared with the very high standard set in the previous year. Having surged by 10.1 percent to Euro 58.0 million in the previous year, builders' merchant sales fell by 2.8 percent to Euro 56.4 million in the period under report. Following the opening of one new outlet and measures taken to optimize the location network, HBU is currently operating 24 builders' merchant outlets in south-western Germany and two locations close to the border in France (Lorraine).

As expected, earnings fall short of previous year’s record figures

Consistent with expectations, key earnings figures for the reporting period from March to May 2015 fell short of the high previous year’s figures. At the Hornbach Holding AG Group, operating earnings (EBIT) reduced by 13.0 percent to Euro 76.8 million. EBIT at the Hornbach-Baumarkt-AG subgroup amounted to Euro 65.2 million (minus 11.0 percent). This shortfall in earnings should be made up for in the next nine months. The Board of Management at Hornbach Holding AG thus continues to aim for consolidated operating earnings (EBIT) at around the same level as in the 2014/2015 financial year.

Key Figures of the Hornbach Group for the 1st Quarter at a Glance

Key figures of the Hornbach Holding AG Group 1)
(in Euro million, unless otherwise stated)
1st Quarter 2015/20151st Quarter 2014/2015+- in %
Net sales1,052.11,035.11.6
of which Hornbach-Baumarkt-AG subgroup995.2976.71.9
of which Hornbach Baustoff Union GmbH subgroup56.458.0-2.8
of which in other European countries421.8404.74.2
Like-for-like sales growth (DIY)-1.1%14.6% 
Gross margin (as percent of net sales)37.9%37.7% 
Earnings per preference share (in Euro)2.602.80-7.1

Misc. key figures of the Hornbach Holding AG GroupMay 31, 2015February 28, 2015+- in %
Shareholders' equity as percent of total assets50.9%51.7% 
Number of DIY stores with garden centers1471460.7
Sales area of DIY stores with garden centers in 000 sqm (BHB)1,7151,7040.6
Number of employees16,88216,4552.6

1)Previous year's figures adjusted due to IFRIC 21; please see Note 1 in the notes to the interim report for the first quarter of 2015/2016.

Rounding up or down may lead to discrepancies between percentages and totals. Calculation of percentage figures based on Euro 000s.

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