The Milwaukee Brewers announced multi-year sports partnership with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer

Ballpark Signage and Brewers.com Advertising Included in Deal With Retailer; Locations in Wisconsin Scheduled to Open in 2015

MILWAUKEE, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Milwaukee Brewers today announced a multi-year partnership with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer that begins this season. The partnership will include branding on both the right-center and left-center field walls at Miller Park. Additional advertising will also be featured on the official website of the Brewers, Brewers.com.  

This is the first sports partnership in Wisconsin for Meijer as the store plans on opening its first Wisconsin stores next year. The retailer currently has over 200 locations in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

“This partnership is just one example of Meijer’s commitment be an integral part of our community even before they open their doors to customers,” Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger said.  “We see this as a great way to welcome them to Wisconsin.”

Meijer supercenters offer customers the “one-stop shopping” concept and are a family-owned company led by brothers and co-chairmen Hank and Doug Meijer, who understand the importance of supporting the communities where its customers and team members work and live.

“We’ve been learning a lot about Wisconsin, and we’ve come to understand that the Brewers are part of the fabric of the Milwaukee community and that the team’s fan base is extremely loyal,” said Frank Guglielmi, senior director of communications for the company.  “We’re excited to be involved with the Milwaukee community and hope to make its citizens loyal fans of Meijer as well.”

The Meijer signage will be up for the Brewers exhibition games at Miller Park tonight and tomorrow, as well as Monday’s Opening Day and throughout the partnership.

Contact: Brewers Media Relations, 414-902-4500; Christina Fecher, 616-735-7968, christina.fecher@meijer.com

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BREWERS

Walmart showcased its Futuristic Truck in support of its sustainability program

LOUISVILLE, Ky, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ —  Walmart showcased its futuristic truck today at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky. The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a tractor-trailer combination that features leading edge aerodynamics, an advanced turbine-powered range extending series hybrid powertrain, electrified auxiliary components, and sophisticated control systems all in one package, developed in support of the company’s industry-leading sustainability program.

In 2005, Walmart, one of the nation’s largest private fleet operators, announced its goal to double fleet efficiency by 2015. Walmart trucks log millions of miles every year, so when it comes to sustainability and fleet efficiency, the goal is simple: deliver more merchandise while driving fewer miles on the most efficient equipment. As of last year, the company had achievedan 84 percent improvement in fleet efficiency over its 2005 baseline.

“Walmart is continually looking for innovative ways to increase our efficiencies and reduce our fleet’s emissions,” said Tracy Rosser, senior vice president of transportation at Walmart. “The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a bold step in transportation technologies that, although not on the road in its current form, will serve as a learning platform for the future that will accelerate our progress toward our goals.”

Innovation is key to improvement, and the project aims to demonstrate a wide range of cutting edge technologies and designs Walmart is considering in an effort to improve the overall fuel efficiency of its fleet and lower the company’s carbon footprint. Although the prototype currently runs on diesel, its turbine is fuel neutral and can run on compressed or liquid natural gas, biofuels or other fuels.

The prototype is the result of collaboration between Walmart and many vendors, including Peterbilt, Roush Engineering, Great Dane Trailers and Capstone Turbine. Almost every component on this vehicle is cutting edge and showcases innovations of the future that will drive increased efficiencies.

About the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience
Tractor: Walmart and Peterbilt have collaborated on aerodynamic, hybrid, electrification and alternative fuel projects in the past, each with incremental gains in fuel efficiency and emission reductions. The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience tractor combines many of these projects in a single vehicle.

“Peterbilt’s goals of producing the most fuel-efficient, aerodynamic, and lightweight trucks in the industry mirror those of Walmart,” said Landon Sproull, chief engineer at Peterbilt. “Our combined efforts help build a business case for these technologies in the future, as well as support one of our best customers.”

Aerodynamics: Designers used extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to optimize the truck’s styling. The truck’s shape represents a 20 percent reduction in aerodynamic drag over Walmart’s current Peterbilt Model 386. By placing the cab over the engine, the truck’s wheelbase is greatly shortened, resulting in reduced weight and better maneuverability. Walmart relied on product development supplier Roush Engineering to carry out the vehicle’s construction with these detailed design specifications.

“We work every day with customers from the automotive and aerospace industries, all of whom have a laser focus on maximizing efficiencies through improved aerodynamics,” said Tom Topper, Roush’s executive director of prototype services. “This design is revolutionary and truly world class.”

Range Extending Series Hybrid: Range extending hybrids are a synergy between electric trucks and series hybrids, and their design reduces the energy storage size required for trucks to run on batteries alone. With Walmart Distribution Centers now located closer to metropolitan areas, transport vehicles have shorter transit times to their delivery destinations. These shorter trips reduce the vehicles’ average trip speed and create more opportunities to recover energy through regenerative braking. The generator and energy storage on the truck are scalable based on the range desired.

Turbine Power: The truck features a microturbine Range Extender generator developed by Capstone Turbine Corporation. The company also engineered the truck’s integrated hybrid drivetrain solution. The use of a hybrid powertrain allows the turbine to remain at optimum operating revolutions per minute (RPM), while the electric motor/energy storage handles acceleration and deceleration. A longer-range version of this powertrain would feature a larger turbine and smaller energy storage system.

“We developed this microturbine hybrid electric drive system by assembling the best team of technology leaders in the industry,” said Steve Gillette, director of business development for Capstone. “We look forward to the day when these energy-saving features are standard offers for the market.”

Fuel Neutral Capability: Turbines by their nature are fuel neutral and produce very low emissions without the need for aftertreatment. Turbines are also appealing because of their few moving parts, low maintenance requirements and lighter weight.

Component Electrification: With automobiles moving to electrified accessories such as power steering and air conditioning, this truck scales those systems up for use on a larger vehicle. These electrified components are used only when needed and at peak efficiency.

Charge Mode: When keyed on, the truck automatically detects the state of charge of the batteries and starts charging them, if needed, using the turbine engine. Charge mode can be manually selected if an operator wishes to “top off” the batteries prior to shutting down.

Electric Vehicle Mode: For use in urban areas, the truck will run on electric power alone until the battery state of charge hits 50 percent. At that time the turbine will automatically start and begin charging the batteries.

Hybrid Electric Mode: For maximum range, this mode runs the turbine continuously, only shutting down if the batteries run out.

Trailer: The vehicle’s trailer, manufactured by Great Dane Trailers, offers a host of fuel-saving features. The trailer body is built almost exclusively with carbon fiber, including one-piece carbon fiber panels for the roof and sidewalls, saving nearly 4,000 pounds when compared to traditional designs. The trailer’s convex nose also enhances aerodynamics while maintaining storage space inside the trailer. Other special features of the trailer include special low-amperage LED lighting strips, composite trailer skirts, aerodynamic disc wheel coverings, a Posi-lift suspension, and a one-piece, fiberglass-reinforced floor panel with a 16,000 pound forklift rating.

“This road-ready prototype trailer is a bold step in transportation technologies,” said Adam Hill, vice president of product and sales engineering at Great Dane. “We look forward to further collaboration with Walmart to create more fuel-efficient vehicles of this type in the future.”

A number of vendor partners were involved in the design and creation of the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience. Key partners – in addition to Peterbilt Motors Company, Roush Engineering, Capstone Turbine Corporation and Great Dane Trailers – include Qualnetics Corporation, Allison Transmission, Transpower, New Eagle, Fiber-Tech Industries, Grote Industries, Inc., Laydon Composites Ltd., Isringhauser Seats, Graykon, LLC, Dometic Corp, RealWheels Corp, Corvus Energy, Parker Hannifin, Accuride, Milliken Chemical, SAF-HOLLAND USA, Inc. and Whiting.

“The creation of this showcase vehicle was only made possible through strong collaboration with our partners, and we thank each of them for their valuable contribution,” said Rosser. “It’s important that we continue to work collectively on future innovations and challenge ourselves to look boldly at fleet efficiency in new and different ways.”

For more information and to access related photos and videos, please visit http://corporate.walmart.com/truck.

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our 11,302 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and ecommerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visitinghttp://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

Walmart showcased its Futuristic Truck in support of its sustainability program

 

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Wesfarmers to hold free Centenary Community Concert at Northam on Saturday 12 April

Perth, Australia,  2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — From Somewhere Over the Rainbow performed by one of Australia’s finest classical singers to Tchaikovsky’s spectacular 1812 Overture, there will be something for everyone at the free Wesfarmers Centenary Community Concert at Northam on Saturday 12 April.

As the major public celebration of its centenary, Wesfarmers is about to take its principal arts partners the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and West Australian Opera to the Avon Valley to perform in the heart of the region where the company’s story began.

WASO and the WAO Chorus will be joined by two of Australia’s most versatile and popular classical singers, soprano Sara Macliver and mezzo soprano Fiona Campbell.

Sara will perform Arlen’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow and join with Fiona for the Flower Duet from Delibe’s Lakmé. Other well-known and much-loved pieces in this program of classical masterpieces and popular favourites include ‘O Fortuna’ from Carmina Burana, ‘Va Pensiero’ from Verdi’s Nabucco and the main theme from John Williams’ Star Wars Suite.

Wesfarmers is delighted to announce a special appearance by Gina Williams, who will join WASO for a performance of Iggy’s Lullaby, the first song Gina wrote in Noongar language.

The concert will be conducted by Guy Noble and also feature WASO’s Graham Pyatt in Massenet’s ‘Méditation’ from Thaïs.

Other talented young performers from around the region will be among the support acts entertaining concert goers in the lead up to the main event at 7pm.

The award-winning Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band, made up of young musicians from Wheatbelt towns and the Hills suburbs, will perform ahead of a planned four week concert tour in 2015 of the battlefields of Europe coinciding with the centenary of the ANZAC Gallipoli campaign.

The band’s members include a descendant of Wesfarmers founder Walter Harper, French horn player Eoin John, and its program will include an original composition by 12 year old tuba player and former Northam Primary School student, North McLevie.

Aboriginal country rock band Patch Up from the Balladong area will kick off the entertainment soon after the gates open at 4pm and young Aboriginal hip hop dancers Kellerberrin’s Static Crew and Lil Sparks will add some high energy dance to the event.

Boys from the Northam Clontarf Academy will greet concert goers who arrive early with skills from their Drumbeat program and more music and dance will come from the members of the Northam PCYC Performing Arts Group.

A Children’s Fun Area will also provide plenty of activities for children up to 12 years of age.

Wesfarmers Chairman, Dr Bob Every AO, said he hoped the centenary concert would be an exciting and truly memorable event for Northam and surrounding towns and communities.

‘We encourage everyone to get a picnic together and come along – families, children, residents and visitors,’ Dr Every said.

‘Wesfarmers has been a supporter of WASO and West Australian Opera for nearly two decades and the principal partner of both for a number of years. It was a natural choice to celebrate our centenary by bringing these two brilliant arts companies together to perform at the gateway to the Wheatbelt where we began as a farmers’ co-operative in 1914.’

The Centenary Community Concert will be held on Henry Street Oval, part of the Northam Recreation Centre complex. Gates open at 4pm. Concert goers are welcome to bring a picnic or purchase food and soft drinks. It is BYO-only event; no alcohol will be for sale.

More details, including the full program, can be found at
www.wesfarmers.com.au/centenary-site/centenary-community-concert.

For further information: Media
Cathy Bolt
Media & External Affairs Manager
+61 8 9327 4423 or +61 417 813 804

Carrefour to hire 5000 young people on apprenticeships and professionalisation contracts during its “Block-release Training Day”

PARIS, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour is holding its “Block-release Training Day”, helping young people throughout France by opening up all its Carrefour hypermarkets and Carrefour Market supermarkets to them. In 2014, Carrefour will be hiring some 5000 young people on apprenticeships and professionalisation contracts. This event – designed to help young people establish a foothold on the job market – will introduce them to 120 Carrefour jobs, and they will be able to use it to apply for them.

A day all about youth employment
On 28 March, Carrefour will be opening up its stores throughout France to its future employees as part of an event designed to inform them and hire them on block-release training programmes. Carrefour’s teams will welcome the applicants, providing them with overviews of the jobs that they do and talking to them about jobs and careers opportunities. The students will then be able to take part in practice interviews and submit their CVs.

All these young people, no matter how many years they have spent studying or what qualifications they have, will be to find some opportunity at Carrefour at the end of this day. In fact, the retailer will be recruiting 5000 young people on block-release training programmes in 2014 throughout France – mainly for positions in stores and warehouses. In 2013, the same number of young people were also hired by Carrefour under the same conditions.

Carrefour has set itself the target of converting more than half of these contracts into permanent positions.

“Carrefour sees block-release training as a solution of the future for hiring and training both young people and people seeking to professionalise their experience. We recruit new talent at all levels throughout France… people with or without qualifications. Because taking these young people on within the framework of block-release programmes gives them guaranteed training, a job and a professional future”, says Isabelle Calvez, Head of human resources for Carrefour France.

Block-release training – a stepping stone to the future
As France’s leading private employer in France, Carrefour has made a pledge to promote the talents of this new generation. In 1999, it signed an agreement with the Conseil National des Missions Locales (the national body for local employment advisers) in order to create employment opportunities for young people and is actively involved in the “Entreprises et Emplois” group which is made up of companies that are all partners of the CNML. Through this commitment, it is able to source new recruits locally and provide young people with solid professional experience.

Block-release training contracts are the solution of the future for training young people and developing their professional experience. In addition to their classroom-based training, Carrefour provides them with an opportunity to acquire solid experience in the corporate world – either in stores or at head office. To do this, Carrefour has trained several thousand mentors and apprenticeship directors who pass on their knowledge and experience to these young people every year.

For further information, Carrefour has set up a special website all about blog-release training: http://www.alternance.carrefour.fr/

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Carrefour to hire 5000 young people on apprenticeships and professionalisation contracts during its Block-release Training Day

Toys“R”Us, Inc. reports fourth quarter and full 2013 fiscal year financial results

WAYNE, NJ, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc. today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal 2013 ended February 1, 2014.  For the fourth quarter, the company reported net sales of $5.3 billion and Adjusted EBITDA1 of $505 million.

Antonio Urcelay, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc., stated, “It was a challenging year, with declines in both our Domestic and International segments.  The U.S. business experienced the more significant downturn, primarily due to a decrease in net sales, margin pressure and one-time items, including the write-down of excess and obsolete inventory as we take the necessary and prudent steps to improve the business.”

Mr. Urcelay continued, “Over the past several months, the team has been focused on developing our strategic plan, which we strongly believe will address foundational issues needed to stabilize the business over the short-term, while allowing us to implement new initiatives to put the company on track for profitable growth in the future.  At the same time, we accelerated our expansion in China, where business has continued to be strong.”

“The company ended the year with a strong liquidity position of approximately $1.8 billion and reduced our total long term debt by $322 million to $5.0 billion.  In addition, we are pleased that last week we successfully refinanced our $1.85 billion senior secured revolving credit facility, a key component of our capital structure.  The execution of this transaction ensures our ability to appropriately fund the working capital needs of our operations at rates that are significantly lower than the prior revolving credit facility.”

“We are also pleased that the 2014 fiscal year has started off well, with a 3.5% comparable store net sales increase in the U.S. and a 0.2% comparable store net sales increase in our International segment through the first seven fiscal weeks.  The U.S. comparable store net sales results are largely attributable to the learning, juvenile and entertainment categories which were impacted by strong sales of hot movie-related products, both in-store and online, and an enhanced e-commerce shipping offer.”

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2013 Highlights

  • Comparable store net sales were down 4.1% in the Domestic segment and 2.2% in the International segment. The overall decrease in comparable store net sales resulted primarily from decreases in the entertainment (which includes electronics, video game hardware and software), learning and juvenile (including baby) categories.
  • Net sales were $5.3 billion, a decrease of $503 million or 8.7% compared to the prior year.  Our reporting period for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 included 13 weeks compared to 14 weeks in the prior year, with the extra week in the prior year accounting for net sales of $152 million.  Excluding the impact of the extra week in the prior year and foreign currency translation, which decreased net sales by $117 million, net sales declined $234 million or 4.1%.
  • Gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, was 31.8% versus 34.1% in the prior year, a decrease of 2.3 percentage points primarily due to margin rate declines across all Domestic categories. The declines are due in part to our competitive pricing strategy and inventory clearance efforts, as well as an inventory write-down of $51 million recorded within the Domestic segment.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 was $505 million, compared to $717 million in the prior year, a decline of $212 million.
  • Net loss was $210 million, compared to net earnings of $239 million in the prior year, a decrease of $449 million.  The decline was mainly attributable to $378 million of goodwill impairment and a $296 million decrease in gross margin dollars, which included an inventory write-down of $51 million recorded within the Domestic segment.  Partially offsetting the decrease was a $200 million decline in income tax expense predominantly due to the decrease in earnings before income taxes.

Full Year Fiscal 2013 Highlights

The following highlights combine the fourth quarter results being announced today with the results of the first three quarters of the fiscal year, which were previously disclosed:

  • Comparable store net sales were down 5.0% in the Domestic segment and 3.3% in the International segment. The overall decrease in comparable store net sales resulted primarily from decreases in the juvenile (including baby), entertainment (which includes electronics, video game hardware and software) and learning categories.
  • Net sales were $12.5 billion, a decrease of $1.0 billion or 7.4% compared to the prior year.  Our reporting period for fiscal 2013 included 52 weeks compared to 53 weeks in fiscal 2012, with the extra week in the prior year accounting for net sales of $152 million.  Excluding the impact of the extra week in the prior year and foreign currency translation, which decreased net sales by $329 million, net sales declined $519 million or 3.8% primarily as a result of a decrease in comparable store net sales, partially offset by an increase in net sales from new stores in the International segment.
  • Gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, was 35.0% versus 36.6% in the prior year, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points primarily due to margin rate declines across all Domestic categories. The declines are due in part to our competitive pricing strategy and inventory clearance efforts, as well as an inventory write-down of $51 million recorded within the Domestic segment. Partially offsetting these decreases was an increase in vendor allowances recorded within the International segment and improvements in sales mix away from lower margin products within the Domestic and International segments, predominantly in our entertainment category.  Gross margin dollars were $4,389 million, compared to $4,951 million in the prior year, a decrease of $562 million. Foreign currency translation decreased gross margin dollars by $110 million.
  • Selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”) decreased by $31 million to $4,010 million, compared to $4,041 million in the prior year.  Foreign currency translation decreased SG&A by $98 million.  Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, SG&A increased primarily as a result of a $24 million increase in occupancy costs predominantly as a result of new stores and store improvements, a $20 million increase in litigation expense related to an adverse liability judgment, and a $17 million increase in accrued vacation expense resulting from a prior period correction.
  • Adjusted EBITDAfor fiscal 2013 was $588 million, compared to $1,015 million in the prior year, a decline of $427 million.
  • Interest expense was $524 million, an increase of $44 million from the prior year’s level of $480 million.  The increase in interest expense was primarily due to $77 million of incremental expense associated with the current year repayment of the $950 million 10.750% senior unsecured notes due fiscal 2017, which included a redemption premium of $51 million. Partially offsetting the increase was $19 million in savings associated with refinancing the unsecured notes to a $985 million senior unsecured term loan facility due fiscal 2019 at a lower rate of interest, as well as the prior year repayment of the $400 million 7.875% senior notes due fiscal 2013, which included a make-whole premium of $18 million.
  • Net loss was $1.0 billion, compared to net earnings of $38 million in the prior year.  The decline was mainly attributable to two significant non-cash charges, goodwill impairment of $378 million and an increase of $349 million in non-cash charges associated with the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets as the company has determined it is more likely than not that these assets will not be realized in the foreseeable future.  Excluding these items, the company would have a net loss of $312 million for fiscal 2013 primarily due to a decrease in gross margin dollars of $562 million, which included an inventory write-down of $51 million recorded within the Domestic segment.

Capital Spending and Depreciation

  • For the full year, capital spending was $238 million, compared to $286 million in the prior year, a decrease of $48 million.
  • Depreciation expense was $388 million, a decrease of $19 million from the prior year level of $407 million.

Liquidity and Debt

The company ended the year with cash and cash equivalents of $644 million and unused availability under committed lines of credit of $1.2 billion, which aggregated to approximately $1.8 billion of total liquidity.

Net cash provided by operating activities for fiscal 2013 was $144 million, a decrease of $393 million compared to the prior year amount of $537 million, primarily driven by the current year net loss.

Total long term debt, including the current portion, was $5.0 billion, a decrease of $322 million from the prior year balance of $5.3 billion, primarily due to the partial repayments of the United Kingdom and French credit facilities in conjunction with their respective refinancings, as well as current year loan amortization payments and prepayments associated with the company’s outstanding debt.

Recent Developments

On March 21, 2014, Toys“R”Us – Delaware, Inc. (“Toys“R”Us – Delaware”), a direct wholly−owned subsidiary, and certain of its subsidiaries amended and restated the credit agreement for its senior secured revolving credit facility (“ABL Facility”) in order to extend the maturity date of the facility and amend certain other provisions.  The ABL Facility as amended will continue to provide for $1.85 billion of revolving commitments, subject to certain conditions.  The ABL Facility has a final maturity date of March 21, 2019, with a springing maturity if the Toys“R”Us – Delaware term loans due fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2018, and the Toys“R”Us – Delaware secured notes due fiscal 2016 are not repaid 30 days prior to maturity.  The ABL Facility as amended bears a tiered floating interest rate of London Interbank Offered Rate plus a margin of between 1.50% and 1.75% depending on usage.

1 A detailed description and reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, and management’s reasons for using these measures, are set forth at the end of this press release.

About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands.  Merchandise is sold in 872 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 700 international stores and over 180 licensed stores in 35 foreign countries and jurisdictions.  In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products.  Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 67,000 associates annually worldwide.  The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need.  Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
All statements that are not historical facts in this press release, including statements about our beliefs or expectations, are forward-looking statements.  These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, among others, the seasonality of our business, competition in the retail industry, changes in our product distribution mix and distribution channels, general economic factors in the United States and other countries in which we conduct our business, consumer spending patterns, our ability to implement our strategy including implementing initiatives for season, the availability of adequate financing, access to trade credit, changes in consumer preferences, changes in employment legislation, our dependence on key vendors for our merchandise, political and other developments associated with our international operations, costs of goods that we sell, labor costs, transportation costs, domestic and international events affecting the delivery of toys and other products to our stores, product safety issues including product recalls, the existence of adverse litigation, changes in laws that impact our business, our substantial level of indebtedness and related debt-service obligations, restrictions imposed by covenants in our debt agreements and other risks, uncertainties and factors set forth in our reports and documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (which reports and documents should be read in conjunction with this press release).  In addition, we typically earn a disproportionate part of our annual operating earnings in the fourth quarter as a result of seasonal buying patterns and these buying patterns are difficult to forecast with certainty.  We believe that all forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions when made; however, we caution that it is impossible to predict actual results or outcomes or the effects of risks, uncertainties or other factors on anticipated results or outcomes and that, accordingly, one should not place undue reliance on these statements.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date when made, and we undertake no obligation to update these statements in light of subsequent events or developments unless required by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules and regulations.  Actual results and outcomes may differ materially from anticipated results or outcomes discussed in forward-looking statements.

The preliminary sales figures disclosed for fiscal 2014 speak only for the periods indicated above and sales for other periods, including for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, may differ materially from the results discussed above.

# # #

For more information please contact:

Lenders and Note Investors:

John D’Ambrosio, Manager, Corporate Treasury at 973-617-5913 or John.D’Ambrosio@toysrus.com

Media:

Kathleen Waugh, Vice President, Corporate Communications at 973-617-5888, 646-366-8823 or waughk@toysrus.com

condensed consolidated statements of operations (Unaudited)

 

Condensed Consolidated balance sheets

 

Condensed consolidated statements of cash flows

 

Non-GAAP Disclosure of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

We believe Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors because it is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of companies in our industry.  Investors of the Company regularly request Adjusted EBITDA as a supplemental analytical measure to, and in conjunction with, the Company’s GAAP financial data.  We understand that investors use Adjusted EBITDA, among other things, to assess our period-to-period operating performance and to gain insight into the manner in which management analyzes operating performance.

In addition, we believe that Adjusted EBITDA is useful in evaluating our operating performance compared to that of other companies in our industry because the calculation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA generally eliminates the effects of financing and income taxes and the accounting effects of capital spending and acquisitions, which items may vary for different companies for reasons unrelated to overall operating performance.  We use the non-GAAP financial measures for planning and forecasting and measuring results against the forecast and in certain cases we use similar measures for bonus targets for certain of our employees.  Using several measures to evaluate the business allows us and investors to assess our relative performance against our competitors.

Although we believe that Adjusted EBITDA can make an evaluation of our operating performance more consistent because it removes items that do not reflect our core operations, other companies, even in the same industry, may define Adjusted EBITDA differently than we do.  As a result, it may be difficult to use Adjusted EBITDA or similarly named non-GAAP measures that other companies may use to compare the performance of those companies to our performance.  The Company does not, and investors should not, place undue reliance on EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA as measures of operating performance.

A reconciliation of Net (loss) earnings attributable to Toys “R” Us, Inc. to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA is as follows:

Toys“R”Us, Inc. reports fourth quarter and full 2013 fiscal year financial results

(a) Represents litigation expenses recorded for certain legal matters.
(b) Represents the fees expensed to Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., and Vornado Realty Trust (collectively, the “Sponsors”) in accordance with the advisory agreement.
(c) Represents a non-cash cumulative correction of prior period accrued vacation accounting in fiscal 2013.
(d) Asset impairments primarily due to the identification of underperforming stores and the relocation of certain stores.
(e) Represents the write-off of damaged assets and repairs from a hurricane that hit the east coast of the United States and other property losses, net of insurance claims.
(f) Represents the incremental compensation expense related to one-time executive awards, the fair market value remeasurement of existing liability awards and the repurchase of awards by the Company upon termination.
(g) Represents the incremental expense related to the write-down of excess and obsolete inventory.
(h) Represents the impairment of goodwill associated with our Toys-Domestic and Toys-Japan reporting units.
(i) Represents miscellaneous other charges consisting primarily of store closure costs and restructuring which were not individually significant for separate disclosure.
(j) Adjusted EBITDA is defined as EBITDA (earnings before net interest income (expense), income tax expense (benefit), depreciation and amortization), as further adjusted to exclude the effects of certain income and expense items that management believes make it more difficult to assess the Company’s actual operating performance including certain items which are generally non-recurring.  We have historically excluded the impact of such items from internal performance assessments.  We believe that excluding items such as Sponsors’ management and advisory fees, goodwill and asset impairment charges, restructuring charges, impact of litigation, noncontrolling interest, net gains on sales of properties and other charges, helps investors compare our operating performance with our results in prior periods.  We believe it is appropriate to exclude these items as they are not related to ongoing operating performance and, therefore, limit comparability between periods and between us and similar companies.

 

HARRIS TEETER ANNOUNCED WEEK 8 WINNERS OF ITS TOGETHER IN EDUCATION $100,000 GIVEAWAY

Two Weeks, $20,000 in Prizes Remain

Matthews, N.C., 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Last weekend, Saturday, March 22, 2014, the TIE Prize Patrol returned to Greensboro, N.C to give away another $10,000 as part of Harris Teeter’s Together in Education (TIE) $100,000 Giveaway.

During the $100,000 Giveaway, Weekly Contestants (“Winners”) are randomly drawn and awarded up to $10,000, the total prize being determined by the number of Harris Teeter Brands founds in their homes.  The winner(s) automatically receives $500, to be split evenly with the TIE school to which their VIC card is linked.  Additionally, for each Harris Teeter Brand product found in a winner’s home, Harris Teeter gives away another $100, to be split with the same school. The TIE Prize Patrol continues visiting homes until the entire $10,000 is awarded for a particular week.

Harris Teeter also selects and advertises a Bonus Item each week.  The Bonus Item is worth a total of $500.  The Week 8 Bonus Item, Harris Teeter All Natural Ice Cream, was found in one winner’s home; the Week 9 Bonus Item is Fresh Foods Market Pasta.

Weekly Contestant TIE School HT Brands Total Prize
Week 8 Winners – Greensboro, N.C.
Jared Black McNair Elementary School 61 $6,600
Hughes Antonie Page High School 5* $1,400
Margaret Dick General Greene School of
Science and Technology
n/a $500
Courtney Ageon Summerfield Charter Academy n/a $500
Terri Grant Page High School n/a $500
Priscilla Streeter Caldwell Academy n/a $500
Week 7 Winners – Greensboro, N.C.
Gerda Curtis Grimsley High School Athletic Boosters 37 $4,200
Page Kreager Academy at Lincoln 53 $5,800
Week 6 Winners – Arlington, Va.
Adele Siegmund St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School 30 $3,500
Jessica Hensley James K. Polk Elementary 15 $2,000
Farida Mansurova St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School and Alexandria Country Day School 15 $2,000
Lisa Nichols Campbell Elementary School NA $500
Allison Hyra Annandale UMC Child Development Center NA $500
Mary Stewart St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School NA $500
Stephen Kravitsky James K. Polk Elementary NA $500
John Hanley St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School NA $500
Week 5 Winners – Greensboro, N.C.
Mary Ann Hoffman Canterbury School 27 $3,200
Sara Strandberg Southeast Guilford High School 19 $2,400
Lydia Bolmer Erwin Montessori Elementary 9 $1,400
Mary Michaux High Point Friends School, Inc. NA $500
Nina Harmon Claxton Elementary School NA $500
Janice Roback Page High School NA $500
David Forster Early College at Guilford Robotics Club NA $500
Amy Ferguson Our Lady of Grace NA $500
Mary Wall Western Guilford High Soccer Program NA $500
Week 4 Winners – Winston-Salem, N.C.
Shannon Reed Paisley Magnet School 50* $5,900
Jeffery England Morgan Elementary School 22* $3,100
Bonnie Smith North Hills Elementary NA $500
Sandra LaHaie Hanes Middle School NA $500
Week 3 Winners – Matthews, N.C.
Kelly Turner Covenant Day School 39 $4,400
Andrew Cudahy Butler High School 51 $5,600
Week 2 Winners – Charlotte, N.C.
The Parada Family South Mecklenburg High School Lacrosse 95 $10,000
Week 1 Winners – Carrboro, N.C.
David Brown Carrboro High School PTSA 91* $10,000
*Including Bonus Item

Two weeks remain in the contest; be sure your VIC card is linked to a TIE school for a chance to participate in the $100,000 Giveaway.

Harris Teeter welcomes shoppers to its Shops at Canton Crossing store on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Matthews, N.C., 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Harris Teeter is proud to welcome shoppers to its Shops at Canton Crossing store on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  The company is celebrating its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. followed by a sampling event featuring Harris Teeter brand products.

Harris Teeter was established in 1960 when two North Carolina grocers merged operations.  Nearly 50 years later, the company opened its first Maryland location, and it is now excited to open its eleventh store in the state.

In each of its stores, including its newest in Baltimore, Harris Teeter strives to offer customers an excellent shopping experience on every visit.  An excellent shopping experience starts in the store with customer service, high-quality perishables along with variety and selection.  The Company also strives to be involved in the local community and will continue to support local schools and youth sports organizations, among other non-profit organizations.

Your Shops at Canton Crossing Harris Teeter will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight, and the Harris Teeter pharmacy will be open seven days per week, as well.

Fast Facts:

Store Address  Shops at Canton Crossing
3779 Boston Street
Baltimore, Md. 21224
 Grand Opening Date  Tuesday, April 8, 2014
 Grand Opening Time  5:30 p.m., ribbon cutting followed by sampling event
 Store Hours  6 a.m. to midnight
 Pharmacy Hours  9 a.m.–9 p.m. M-F; 9 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat.; noon–6 p.m. Sun
 Square Footage  52,000
 Check-Out Lanes  Eight checkouts and four USCAN checkouts

Features and Departments:
Full-service Butchers Market with Rancher Beef, HT Reserve Angus Beef and HT Naturals Natural Beef • Full-service Fishermans Market • Shrimp Party Trays • Farmers Market Produce • Full-Service Floral and Custom Floral Arrangements • Expanded Fresh Cut Flower Section • Fresh Fruit Bar • Produce Party Trays • Gift Basket Program • Full-service Fresh Foods Market Deli/Bakery • Sushi • Self-Serve Olives • Salad Bar • International Cheeses • European Pastries • Chef Prepared Foods to Go •  Custom Cakes and Ice Cream Cakes • Hot Asian Bar • Sub Shop and Made-to-Order Sandwich Program • Artisan Breads • Italian Meat Selection • Hot Foods Bar • Fresh Made Salads and Caesar Salads • Fresh Made Pizza • Party Trays • Boar’s Head Meats & Cheeses • Slicing Meats & Cheeses • Rotisserie Items • Starbucks • Organic, Natural and Specialty Foods • Expanded Olive Oil Variety • Expanded General Merchandise • Pharmacy • Double Coupons • Club 60 Discount • Carryout Service • USCAN • Western Union • Coinstar • Express Lane Online Shopping • Red Box DVD Rental Kiosk • Sit-down eating area

###

Harris Teeter welcomes shoppers to its Shops at Canton Crossing store on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

H&M announce Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 29 April 2014 at 3 p.m

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Shareholders of H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) are hereby invited to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 29 April 2014 at 3 p.m., at Victoriahallen, Stockholmsmässan, Älvsjö in Stockholm.

NOTICE OF ATTENDANCE
Shareholders who wish to attend the AGM shall

both  be entered in the company’s register of shareholders kept by Euroclear Sweden AB in their own name (not nominee-registered) by Wednesday 23 April 2014

and  notify their intention to attend the Annual General Meeting by Wednesday 23 April 2014 at the latest, in writing to the address H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB, Carola Ardéhn, 106 38 Stockholm, Sweden, by telephone to +46 (0)8-796 55 00, by fax to +46 (0)8 796 55 44 or on  the company’s website at www.hm.com/agm. The attendance of any assistants is to be notified to the same addresses by the same date.

Shareholders must state in the notice their name, civil identity number or corporate registration number, telephone number (daytime) as well as the number of shares held. In order to attend the meeting shareholders whose shares are nominee-registered must have their shares temporarily re-registered with Euroclear Sweden AB in their own name. Such re-registration must be effected by Wednesday 23 April 2014. In order to re-register shares in time, shareholders should make the request via their nominee in good time before this date. Such registration may be temporary. Passes for those attending will be sent out from 24 April onwards.

A proxy form is available on the company’s website at www.hm.com/arsstamma.

AGENDA

  1. Opening of the AGM.
  2. Election of a chairman for the AGM.
  3. Address by CEO Karl-Johan Persson followed by an opportunity to ask questions about the company.
  4. Establishment and approval of voting list.
  5. Approval of the agenda.
  6. Election of people to check the minutes.
  7. Examination of whether the meeting was duly convened.
  8. a. Presentation of the annual accounts and auditor’s report as well as the consolidated accounts and consolidated auditor’s report, and auditor’s statement on whether the guidelines for remuneration to senior executives applicable since the last AGM have been followed.
    b. Statement by the company’s auditor and the chairman of the Auditing Committee.
    c. Statement by the Chairman of the Board on the work of the Board.
    d. Statement by the chairman of the Election Committee on the work of the Election Committee.
  9. Resolutions
    a. Adoption of the income statement and balance sheet as well as the consolidated income statement and consolidated balance sheet.
    b. Disposal of the company’s earnings in accordance with the adopted balance sheets, and record date.
    c. Discharge of the members of the Board and CEO from liability to the company.
  10. Establishment of the number of Board members and deputy Board members.
  11. Establishment of fees to the Board and auditors.
  12. Election of Board members and Chairman of the Board.
  13. Establishment of principles for the Election Committee and election of members of the Election Committee.
  14. Resolution on guidelines for remuneration to senior executives.
  15. Closing of the AGM.

Election Committee 
The current Election Committee comprises Stefan Persson, Chairman of the Board and also chairman of the Election Committee, Lottie Tham, Liselott Ledin (Alecta), Jan Andersson (Swedbank Robur Fonder) and Anders Oscarsson (AMF and AMF Fonder).

Resolutions proposed by the Election Committee 
Item 2 
Proposed by the Election Committee: the lawyer Sven Unger is proposed as chairman of the AGM.

Item 10 – The Election Committee proposes eight Board members with no deputies. (previous year eight Board members and no deputies)

Item 11 – The Election Committee proposes that the Board fees for each member elected by the general meeting are distributed as follows: Chairman of the Board SEK 1,500,000; members SEK 525,000; members of the Auditing Committee an extra SEK 100,000; and the chairman of the Auditing Committee an extra SEK 150,000.

If the meeting approves the Election Committee’s proposal for the composition of the Board, and if the number of members of the Auditing Committee remains as before, the total fees will be SEK 5,525,000, which is an increase of SEK 500,000.

It is proposed that, as previously, the auditor’s fees be paid based on the invoices submitted.

Item 12 – The Election Committee proposes the following Board of Directors.
New members: Lena Patriksson Keller and Niklas Zennström. Re-election of the following current Board members: Anders Dahlvig, Lottie Knutson, Sussi Kvart, Stefan Persson, Melker Schörling and Christian Sievert.
Bo Lundquist has declined re-election. Mia Brunell-Livfors left the Board of H&M at her own request as of the end of 2013.

Chairman of the Board: re-election of Stefan Persson.

Information on proposed new Board members:
Lena Patriksson Keller:
Born 1969
Main occupation: Executive Chairman at Patriksson Communication
Professional experience: has worked in the fashion industry for more than 20 years, focusing on branding and communications but also in buying, distribution and product range.
Board assignments: positions on the boards of WESC and Elite Hotels, and chairman of the board of ASFB, the industry organisation Association of Swedish Fashion Brands.
Own shareholding in H&M: 700 shares
Related parties’ shareholdings in H&M: 9,450 shares

Niklas Zennström:
Born 1966
Main occupation: CEO of venture capital company Atomico, which focuses on fast-growing tech companies, and involved in Zennström Philanthropies, which supports organisations particularly associated with climate change, social entrepreneurship, the Baltic Sea environment and human rights.
Professional experience: co-founded companies including venture capital company Atomico,
IP telephony company Skype, file sharing service Kazaa and internet video service Joost.
Board assignments: member of the board of Rovio, Atomico, Zennström Philanthropies, Fon, Fab and The Climate Group.
Shareholding in H&M: 0 shares

More information on the proposed Board members can be found at www.hm.com.

ESTABLISHMENT OF PRINCIPLES FOR THE ELECTION COMMITTEE AND ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF THE ELECTION COMMITTEE, item 13

The Election Committee’s proposal for members is based on previously applied principles for the composition of the Election Committee, namely that the Election Committee shall consist of the Chairman of the Board plus four others nominated by the four largest shareholders in terms of votes, as far as can be ascertained from the register of shareholders, other than the shareholder the Chairman of the Board may represent. In other aspects, the proposal is also based on previously applied principles. The Election Committee’s proposals for the election of members of the Election Committee are based on shareholdings as at 28 February 2014.

The Election Committee proposes that the 2014 Annual General Meeting passes the following resolutions.

  1. That the Annual General Meeting appoint the Chairman of the Board, Lottie Tham, Liselott Ledin (nominated by Alecta), Jan Andersson (nominated by Swedbank Robur fonder) and Anders Oscarsson (nominated by AMF and AMF Fonder) as the Election Committee. This Election Committee shall take up its duties immediately. Its term of office shall continue until a new Election Committee is appointed.
  2. No fees shall be paid to the members of the Election Committee. The Election Committee may charge to the company any reasonable costs for travel expenses and investigations.
  3. Unless the members of the Election Committee agree otherwise, the chairman of the Election Committee shall be the member representing the largest shareholder.
  4. The Election Committee shall submit proposals to the 2015 Annual General Meeting for:
    a)  election of the chairman of the meeting
    b)  resolution on the number of Board members
    c)  resolution on Board fees for the Chairman of the Board and for each of the other members of the Board (including work in Board committees)
    d)  election of Board members
    e)  election of Chairman of the Board
    f)    resolution on fees to the auditors
    g)  election of Election Committee, or resolution on principles for the establishment of the Election Committee, as well as resolution on instructions for the Election Committee.
  5. Should a shareholder that nominated Liselott Ledin, Jan Andersson or Anders Oscarsson notify the Election Committee that this shareholder wishes the person it nominated to be replaced (e.g. because the person concerned is no longer employed), the Election Committee shall resolve that the person concerned shall leave the Committee.
  6. Should a member leave the Election Committee before its work is complete and the Election Committee deems it necessary to replace this member, the Election Committee shall appoint a new member; in the first instance, a member nominated by the shareholder that the departing member was nominated by, provided that the shareholder remains one of the five largest shareholders in the company.
  7. Should a shareholder that nominated Liselott Ledin, Jan Andersson or Anders Oscarsson no longer be one of the five largest shareholders in the company, the Election Committee may resolve that the member nominated by that shareholder shall leave the Committee. In which case, and even in the event that the Election Committee resolves that the member concerned shall not leave the Committee, the Election Committee may appoint a new, or additional, member; in the first instance, a member nominated by the shareholder that is now one of the five largest shareholders.
  8. Should a shareholder invited by the Election Committee to propose a member decline to make a proposal, the Election Committee shall invite the next largest shareholder that has not previously nominated a member of the Election Committee.
  9. Changes to the composition of the Election Committee shall be published as soon as possible.

Resolutions proposed by the Board 
DIVIDEND AND RECORD DATE, item 9 b 
The Board has proposed a dividend to the shareholders of SEK 9.50 per share. The Board of Directors has proposed Monday 5 May 2014 as the record date. If the resolution is passed, dividends are expected to be paid out by Euroclear Sweden AB on Thursday 8 May 2014.

PROPOSED RESOLUTION ON GUIDELINES FOR REMUNERATION TO SENIOR EXECUTIVES, item 14

The Board considers it of the utmost importance that senior executives are paid competitive, attractive remuneration at a market level, as regards both fixed and variable compensation, based on responsibilities and performance. The Board’s proposed remuneration is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders from a growth perspective, since it helps motivate and retain talented and committed senior executives.

The Board’s proposal to the 2014 AGM differs from previous guidelines because the proposal to the 2014 AGM also contains supplementary guidelines for remuneration of certain senior executives. The Board has thus divided the guidelines for remuneration of senior executives into two parts: general guidelines and supplementary guidelines.

The general guidelines, which are the same as those adopted at the 2013 AGM, are aimed at a group of around 50 senior executives and are based on performance in the previous year, linked to certain quantifiable targets set in advance. The supplementary guidelines, which are aimed at around a third of these individuals, are based on a “stay on board” principle. The supplementary guidelines do not apply to the CEO, who is included only in the general guidelines.

The Board’s reasoning for the supplementary guidelines is as follows: in view of H&M’s strong expansion phase and the important development phase that H&M is in, including multi-brand and multi-channel developments, the aim is to ensure that these key individuals in senior positions remain with the H&M Group during this important development phase. The proposal was prepared by the Board with the assistance of external advisors.

Below is a more detailed account of the Board’s proposal to the 2014 AGM for general and supplementary guidelines:

General guidelines

Compensation for senior executives is based on factors such as work tasks, expertise, position, experience and performance. Senior executives are compensated at what are considered by the company to be competitive market rates. Senior executives are also entitled to the benefits provided under the H&M Incentive Program.

H&M is present in more than 40 countries excluding franchise markets and levels of compensation may therefore vary from country to country. Senior executives receive a fixed salary, pension benefits and other benefits such as car benefits. The largest portion of the remuneration consists of the fixed salary. For information on variable components, see the section below.

In addition to the ITP plan, executive management and certain key individuals are covered by either a defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan. The retirement age for these individuals varies between 60 and 65 years. Members of executive management and country managers who are employed by a subsidiary abroad are covered by local pension arrangements and a defined contribution plan. The retirement age for these is in accordance with local retirement age rules. The cost of these commitments is partly covered by separate insurance policies.

The period of notice for senior executives varies from three to twelve months. No severance pay agreements exist within H&M other than for the Chief Executive Officer.

Pension terms etc. for the Chief Executive Officer
The retirement age for the Chief Executive Officer is 65. The Chief Executive Officer is covered by the ITP plan and a defined contribution plan. The total pension cost shall amount in total to 30 percent of the Chief Executive Officer’s fixed salary. The Chief Executive Officer is entitled to 12 months’ notice. In the event that the company cancels the Chief Executive Officer’s employment contract, the Chief Executive Officer will also receive severance pay of an extra year’s salary.

Variable remuneration
The Chief Executive Officer, country managers, certain senior executives and certain key individuals are included in a bonus scheme. The size of the bonus per person is based on the fulfilment of targets in their respective areas of responsibility. The result is linked to the measurable profit targets (qualitative, quantitative, general, individual) set in advance within their respective areas of responsibility. These targets also include measurable targets for sustainability. The targets within each area of responsibility are aimed at promoting H&M’s development in both the short and the long term.

For the Chief Executive Officer the maximum bonus is SEK 0.9 m net after tax. For other senior executives the maximum bonus is SEK 0.3 m net after tax. Net after tax means that income tax and social security costs are not included in the calculation. The bonuses that are paid out must be invested entirely in shares in the company, which must be held for at least five years. Since H&M is present in markets with varying personal income tax rates, the net model has been chosen because it is considered fair that the recipients in the different countries should be able to purchase the same number of H&M shares for the amounts that are paid out.

In individual cases other members of executive management, key individuals and country managers may, at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the Board, receive one-off payments up to a maximum of 30 percent of their fixed yearly salary.

Supplementary guidelines
In addition to the general guidelines, the Board has prepared supplementary guidelines for certain managers, which are primarily aimed at executive management but also at certain other key individuals. The Chief Executive Officer is not, however, included in the supplementary guidelines. Overall, around a third of the senior executives who are covered by the above mentioned general guidelines are also covered by the supplementary guidelines.

The supplementary guidelines are based on a “stay on board” principle, which means that the remuneration linked to the supplementary guidelines is conditional upon the senior executive remaining employed within the H&M Group for at least five years. Provided that the 2014 AGM approves the programme, the five-year rule applies from and including May 2014 up to and including May 2019.

Cash remuneration in 2019
Provided that the “stay on board” principle is fulfilled, the senior executives covered by the supplementary guidelines are entitled to a cash payment after five years.

At individual level, the cash payment may vary between SEK 0.5 m and SEK 5 m net after tax; the exact distribution per individual will be decided by the CEO and the Chairman of the Board.

Cost to H&M: The total cost to the company is estimated at around SEK 30 m per year including social security costs over five years.

Miscellaneous
The Board of Directors may deviate from the guidelines for remuneration of senior executives in individual cases where there is a particular reason for doing so.
Information at the AGM
Shareholders are entitled to certain information at the AGM. The Board of Directors and the CEO shall, if any shareholder so requests and the Board of Directors believes that it can be done without material harm to the company, provide information regarding circumstances that may affect the assessment of an item on the agenda, circumstances that may affect the assessment of the financial situation of the company or its subsidiaries, and the company’s relations with another company within the group.
Anyone wishing to submit questions in advance may do so to:

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB
The Board of Directors
Attn.: Carola Ardéhn
106 38 Stockholm
Sweden

Or by e-mail: hm29april@hm.com

Number of shares and votes 
There are 194,400,000 class A shares in the company with ten votes per share and 1,460,672,000 class B shares with one vote per share, with the result that the total number of shares in H&M is 1,655,072,000 and the total number of votes is 3,404,672,000.

———————————————————————————-
The Annual Report for 2013 will be published at www.hm.com on 2 April 2014. It will then be available at H&M’s head office, Mäster Samuelsgatan 46A, 106 38 Stockholm and will be sent out to shareholders submitting such a request and stating their postal address. The Annual Report will be presented at the meeting, as will the auditor’s report, auditor’s statement and the Board’s reasoned statement concerning payment of dividend.

Stockholm, March 2014
The Board of Directors
————————————————————————————-

Contacts: 
Kristina Stenvinkel, Head of Communications +46 (0)8-796 3908
Nils Vinge, Head of Investor Relations +46 (0)8 796 5250
Jan Andersson, Member of the Election Committee +46 (0)76 139 5500

Press images and background information for editorial use can be downloaded from www.hm.com

The information in this notice is that which H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) is required to disclose under the Securities Exchange and Clearing Operations Act. It was released for publication at 08:00 (CET) on 28 March 2014.

The notice of the Annual General Meeting will be published on 28 March 2014 on the company’s website www.hm.com/arsstamma and on 1 April 2014 in the newspapers DN and SvD, as well as in Post- och Inrikes Tidningar on the website of Bolagsverket, the Swedish Companies Registration Office.


H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was established in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. The company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. In addition to H&M, the Group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday and & Other Stories as well as H&M Home. Today the H&M Group has more than 3,200 stores in 53 markets. In 2013, sales including VAT were around SEK 150 billion and the number of employees exceeded 116,000. For further information, visit hm.com. 

H&M performance report for 1 December 2013 – 28 February 2014

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — H&M performance report for 1 December 2013 – 28 February 2014

First quarter

  • The H&M Group’s sales including VAT increased in local currencies by 12 percent during the first quarter. Converted into SEK, sales excluding VAT amounted to SEK 32,143 m (28,392), an increase of 13 percent.
  • Gross profit amounted to SEK 17,641 m (15,679), an increase of 13 percent. This corresponds to a gross margin of 54.9 percent (55.2).
  • Profit after financial items amounted to SEK 3,486 m (3,234), an increase of 8 percent. The group’s profit after tax increased to SEK 2,649 m (2,458), corresponding to SEK 1.60 (1.49).
  • H&M Sport very well received in selected H&M stores in 18 countries and online. Continued roll-out to more stores and countries as well as further broadening of the sport range.

———————————————————————————-

  • Sales during the period 1 March – 25 March 2014 increased by 12 percent in local currencies compared to the same period the previous year.
  • Australia, the Philippines and India will become new H&M countries in 2014.
  • Peru and South Africa will become new H&M countries in 2015.
  • Four new large H&M online markets are planned to open in 2014:
    – France has opened already, on 13 March, and has been very well received by customers
    – Spain and Italy will become new online markets in early autumn 2014
    – China is planned to become a new online market at the end of 2014
  • COS will open stores in four new countries in 2014 – in Australia, Switzerland,  South Korea and the US (New York and Los Angeles) as well as online in the US.
  • & Other Stories will open stores in three new countries in 2014 – in Belgium,  the Netherlands and in the US as well as online in three new countries: Ireland, Austria and the US.

Comments by Karl-Johan Persson, CEO
”Sales have got off to a good start with an increase of 12 percent in local currencies in the first quarter in a fashion retail market that in many places is still characterised by a challenging macroeconomic situation, and we have continued to gain market share.

Operating profit increased by 9 percent to SEK 3.4 billion, despite our substantial long-term investments in areas such as IT and online. These investments, which we see as very important, have enabled us – among other things – to open our online store in France already on 13 March. The initial response from our customers has been very positive. If we disregard cost increases for the long-term investments, operating profit would have increased by 14 percent compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

We are continuing to work intensively on the global roll-out of our online store to new countries. Spain and Italy will become new H&M online markets in early autumn. In addition, preparations are under way for the opening of our online shop in China at the end of the year.

In 2014 we plan to open a total of 375 new stores net including many interesting store openings worldwide. We will open more H&M flagship stores than last year, for example in the General Post Office building in Melbourne, at Piazza del Duomo in Milan, on East Nanjing Road in Shanghai and on Weinstrasse in Munich, as well as a further two new flagship stores in Manhattan – on Fifth Avenue and Herald Square.

New H&M countries for 2014 will be Australia in April and the Philippines and India during the second half; three important markets where there is great interest in H&M.

Expansion continues for our other brands. For example COS will open its first stores in the US, South Korea and Australia while the first COS store in Switzerland opened in February. Belgium, the Netherlands and the US will become new markets for & Other Stories stores in 2014. In addition to this, COS will open its online store in the US and & Other Stories will open its online store in Austria, the US and Ireland.

We have a strong customer offering with many great collections and we are constantly working to further develop and broaden our product range. One example of this is our extended H&M Sport range, which has been very well received by customers and will be launched in even more countries. Furthermore, we are continuing our focus on sustainability so that H&M is the more sustainable option for our customers. The fact that we have just been named by Ethisphere Institute as one of the world’s most ethical companies provides proof of our sound sustainability work.”
The information in this Interim Report is that which H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) is required to disclose under Sweden’s Securities Market Act. It will be released for publication at 8.00 (CET) on 27 March 2014. This Interim Report, and other information about H&M, is available at www.hm.com

CONTACT PERSONS
Nils Vinge, IR                                   +46-8-796 52 50
Karl-Johan Persson, CEO             +46-8-796 55 00 (switchboard)
Jyrki Tervonen, CFO                         +46-8-796 55 00 (switchboard)

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ)
SE-106 38 Stockholm
Phone: +46-8-796 55 00, Fax: +46-8-24 80 78, E-mail: info@hm.com
Registered office: Stockholm, Reg. No. 556042-7220

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. The company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories as well as H&M Home. The H&M Group has more than 3,200 stores in 53 markets including franchise markets. In 2013, sales including VAT were SEK 150,090 million and the number of employees was more than 116,000. For further information, visit www.hm.com.

H&M participates in Earth Hour on Saturday March 29th 8.30-9.30 PM

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Earth Hour is the world’s largest collective environmental action, when millions of people all over the world show their commitment to the environment by turning off all non-essential lights at the appointed time for one hour. H&M has supported Earth Hour for many years and we will join this year as well.

Most of the lights in our stores and facilities are normally turned off on a Saturday evening, and will be so during Earth Hour on Saturday March 29th 8.30-9.30 PM (20.30-21.30). However, some lights still need to be lit during the evening for safety and technical reasons.

One of our seven Conscious Commitments is “Be climate smart.” Being Climate smart is a constant series of choices, big and small; H&M works actively in various ways to reduce our energy consumption in our stores, offices and distribution centers – and beyond. We also try to inspire those around us to make equally smart climate choices, such as washing their clothes at lower temperatures or skipping the dryer altogether. On this great occasion we will inform our staff about Earth Hour and let them know what they can do to show their support, like switching off the lights at home for Earth Hour.

Did you know:

– 15% reduction in electricity use per H&M store sqm since 2007.

– 18% of the electricity we used came from renewables. Our goal is 100%.

– Our own solar photovoltaic panels generated enough energy to supply 145 European households for an entire year.

Read more about our sustainability efforts on hm.com/sustainability

GLOBAL MEDIA INQURIES

Only for media representatives
Phone: +46 8 796 53 00
Email: mediarelations@hm.com

Please note the contact details above are only for media representatives.
For other enquiries contact H&M’s switchboard on +46 8 796 55 00.