Positioning the company’s retail formulas such that growth opportunities can be exploited to maximum effect. Beter Bed Holding aims to expand its position in all the markets in which it operates by offering strong, competitively positioned retail formulas. The needs of consumers and the ‘customer comes first’ principle form the basis for our actions. This will allow the company to further strengthen its position as the European market leader, always in a socially responsible manner. The Slaapgenoten, Matrassen Concord Netherlands and Matrassen Concord Belgium formulas were discontinued in 2014. The Beter Bed formula was modernised in 2014 by means of a new marketing strategy, a new logo and an updated store concept. This process will be completed in 2015. A similar approach will be applied to Beddenreus in the Netherlands and Matratzen Concord in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as El Gigante del Colchón in Spain in 2015.
Increasing net profit, regardless of market conditions and consumer confidence. When faced with exceptional market conditions or low consumer confidence, net profit may decline temporarily. The company clearly targeted like-for-like growth in 2014. This was attained largely by substantially stepping up the marketing activities. The adjustments of formulas described above, the margin improvement and cost control also contributed to profitability.
Balance sheet structure
A strong, healthy balance sheet with solvency of at least 30% and a ratio between net interest-bearing debt and EBITDA not exceeding two. The company’s financial position was further strengthened, as reflected, for instance, in increased solvency and higher liquidity. This was achieved mainly by a conservative approach to capital expenditure and by active working capital management. Working capital management will continue to be a focus area in 2015. At the same time, investments (in the various retail formulas and online) are set to increase with a view to the rejuvenation of the formulas.