Hema remains in red despite expansion, record revenues

Photo: Hema

High street retail chain Hema posted record sales in 2016 but remains in the red, Trouw said on Friday.

Now owned by British venture capital house Lion Capital, Hema marked its 90th year of operations by opening its 50th store in France as well as flagship stores in Cologne and Barcelona. Hema now has 720 stores in seven European counties.

Nevertheless, Hema posted losses of €26.2m in fiscal 2016 ending 31 January. This is an improvement over 2014 when losses hit €189m and 2015 when losses were trimmed to €72.5m. Turnover in 2016 was €1.19bn.

The Amsterdam-based company which is noted for its strong in-house designs said it almost broke even in the final quarter of 2016 and that the company was performing well in the first months of the current year.

Hema’s financial problems are due to a €269m ‘loan’ from its parent Lion Capital, a debt which bears a 13.5% annual interest rate. Lion is said to be preparing  to sell Hema and is strongly backing its international expansion.

Despite the expansion abroad, Hema derives 78% of sales from the Netherlands, with Belgium and France trailing well behind in terms of turnover.