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Hugo Boss Q4 sales up on spruced-up stores; online sales jump 52%

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Hugo Boss said the environment in Hong Kong remained difficult in the fourth quarter, although mainland China saw double-digit growth, while currency-adjusted sales fell 7 per cent in the Americas.

Berlin

GERMAN fashion house Hugo Boss reported better than expected fourth-quarter sales growth on Tuesday, helped by strong demand at its renovated stores and growth in online retail.

Fourth-quarter sales rose 4 per cent to 825 million euros (S$1.2 billion), adjusted for currency changes, beating average analysts’ forecast of 805 million euros.

Shares in Hugo Boss, which have fallen by more than a quarter in the last year, were up 2.4 per cent in premarket trade.

Operating profit rose 9 per cent to 122 million euros in the quarter, in line with expectations and compensating for a profit decline in the first nine months of the year.

In October, Hugo Boss cut its 2019 earnings forecast, citing weak demand in the United States and Hong Kong but predicted a recovery in the fourth quarter.

On Tuesday, Hugo Boss said the environment in Hong Kong remained difficult in the fourth quarter, although mainland China saw doubledigit growth, while currency-adjusted sales fell 7 per cent in the Americas, compared with an 8 per cent drop in the third.

After Hugo Boss spruced up its stores, including its flagship Champs Elysees spot in Paris, currency-adjusted sales at its retail business rose 7 per cent, while online sales jumped 52 per cent.

Shares in other luxury goods makers rose last week after UBS said it expects 2020 to be another busy year for the sector, supported by buoyant consumer sentiment and speculation over mergers and acquisitions. REUTERS