Yeah! AG, the holding company that owns McTrek, the discount-oriented German specialty chain, managed to increase its sales by 17 percent to €26.2 million in 2011. The growth rate did not occur on a comparable basis because the chain opened four more stores last year. Another store opened in Rosenheim, Bavaria, last April. One more door is planned for the end of this year in the city of Aachen. The investment in new outlets is paid from the cash flow.

Much like other market players, McTrek felt the bad weather conditions in Germany last winter. The operating profit failed to reach the record results of 2010, though it was above the results of 2008 and 2009. Altogether, the operating profit was some €1.2 million, and net earnings landed at €666,000, after the company booked some extraordinary investments of €450,000. In the first three months of this year, sales increased by 38 percent, but the gross margin fell short of last year's score with an increase by “only” 25 percent.

In fact, Yeah! AG has invested in its online retailing business with a new dedicated warehouse that started operating this month. According to Ulrich Dausien, the company's chief executive, online sales soared by 47.5 percent last year after they had already soared by 105 percent in 2010.

While the McTrek low-price format is doing well, Dausien has decided to axe the roots of his retail realm, which are not McTrek, but a quality-oriented retail format called Sine. Founded in 1979, Sine will close on Aug. 31 its store in Frankfurt, when the lease contract will expire. The owner emphasizes that this was not the only reason: The environment in that city has become more and more competitive with some 15 outdoor retail stores, including the single-brand stores of some suppliers.