Beter Bed Holding N.V. was able to benefit from a recovering market in nearly all the countries in which it operates. The Netherlands and Germany, in particular, experienced a clear recovery in revenue. Austria also showed excellent development and growth continued in Belgium and Spain. Switzerland was the only country that posted decreasing revenue. The measures in the field of positioning, margin improvement, cost savings and customer satisfaction that have been taken over the past two years in anticipation of a market recovery produced results.
The organisation’s strategic decision to strengthen its purchasing, e-commerce and customer service have contributed to the positive development and led to the desired like-for-like growth in revenue. All things considered, we can conclude that in 2014 the organisation once again took good steps forward in the development of a modern omni-channel retail formula.
There was a sluggish recovery in consumer confidence in the Netherlands in 2014. Revenue in the Netherlands decreased by 5.0%, chiefly due to the closure of several formulas as stated below. The revenue of Beter Bed in the Netherlands rose by 0.5%, mainly as a result of higher conversion.
The Slaapgenoten, Matrassen Concord Netherlands and Matrassen Concord Belgium formulas were discontinued in 2014. This ultimately resulted in the closures of 32 stores in 2014.
As part of the strategy of strengthening the formula’s positioning, the process of remodelling the Bed Bed stores was undertaken in 2014. This resulted in 45 stores having been remodelled by the end of the year. These stores now feature a modern and contemporary interior design and image to create stores in which consumers feel comfortable and in which the product range is presented in a more attractive fashion. The remaining stores will be remodelled in 2015.
The Beddenreus formula is set to undergo a similar process. The first pilot stores have been opened and, providing these pilots are concluded successfully, a plan for remodelling the Beddenreus stores will be put into action.
Consumers’ propensity to buy in the home and bedroom furnishings segment in Germany rose in the course of the second quarter of 2014. Due in part to targeted marketing activities and improvements to the product range, Matratzen Concord was able to benefit from this trend, which resulted in an increase in market share. Revenue in 2014 ultimately turned out to be 6.0% higher than last year, which represents a 5.6% increase based on revenue performance at comparable stores. Revenue developed positively for the second consecutive year at Matratzen Concord Austria (+ 13.3%) and Beter Bed Belgium (+ 158.6%). The recovery in revenue also continued in Spain (following the restructuring in 2013). Revenue at comparable stores rose by no less than 15.7%. Only Switzerland continued to lag behind in terms of revenue performance with a negative like-for-like of 5.0%. In summary, the group consequently achieved revenue of € 364.0 million in 2014, which amounts to an increase of 1.8% compared to last year and like-for-like growth of 4.8%.
Revenue (in € million)
Operating profit (in € million)
Net profit (in € million)
Number of stores
Number of employees (FTE)
Gross profit rose from 56.9% in 2013 to 57.3% in 2014. This was achieved, as it was in 2013, through a combination of improved purchasing conditions, higher volumes, year-end bonuses, a (limited) change to the sales mix and increases in prices where possible and well considered.
Average expenses per store rose by 1.2% owing to a substantial increase in marketing spending on the one hand and the closure of a relatively large number of small stores with low expense levels on the other. The underlying trend of stringently controlling the development of expenses will be continued unabated. Operating profit rose by 87.6% in 2014 to € 23.0 million (2013: € 12.3 million). Operating profit as a percentage of revenue increased from 3.4% to 6.3%. Net profit rose to € 16.9 million in 2014 (2013: € 8.2 million), which equals an increase of 105.7%.
An average of 111 stores were closed and 63 stores was opened during the year under review. These closures include 32 stores that were closed due to the discontinuation of the Slaapgenoten, Matrassen Concord Netherlands and Matrassen Concord Belgium formulas. The other closures were due to location improvements or inadequate financial performance.