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Is Danish Sound Company Bang & Olufsen Set To Go Belly Up?

Questions are now being asked as to whether struggling Danish audio Company Bang & Olufsen will survive as their shares keep tumbling sales collapse and the business struggles to get an injection of capital.

Last year their local distributor Aqipa walked away from the brand due to poor sales and “no margin” and on Friday their shares had fallen another 4.98% to $22.50 Danish Kroner, on Jan 16th the stock was trading at DK$43.18, 12 months ago $60.75 and five years ago DK$153.

During the past 12 months the Company has been forced to issue five profit warnings as sales dry up. most of these came before the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Earlier this month the Company reported that sales had fallen another 14% to 630 million crowns in the three months through February from 710 million a year earlier.

The Company that has not seen a profit for almost two years said that during the past three months they had delivered a $235,000 loss, this they claimed was in line with its expectations.

“We do, however, see COVID-19 impacting most of our major markets in the coming quarter. Countries are impacted differently, and the sales situation is still very uncertain,” Chief Executive Kristian Tear said in a statement.

B&O, who has been trying to sell a $30K TV in Australia has struggled to make progress on plans to shift from wholesale distribution to a more retail-focused model while keeping its edge as a luxury brand.

Their new store at Chadstone shopping centre is closed.

In a strategy update on Thursday, B&O said it would boost its online presence and digital sales to make up for store closures due to the pandemic.

Shares in B&O who are trying to sell $4K networked speakers that sound similar to other premium brands such as the $1,200 Bowes & Wilkins speaker, have fallen 62% over the past year.

As one observer said, “most people want to see and hear a premium audio or TV before they buy and right now with the Coronavirus this is hard”.

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