Retail like-for-likes of 8.5 per cent is strong, although is against relatively weak comparatives. Wholesale performance was equally encouraging...Given 2014 is a year of investment and we are still early in the year, we are making no changes to our forecasts at this stage, however we view the performance as an encouraging start.
The first quarter is ahead of expectations in both retail and wholesale channels driving group sales higher... the autumn/winter order book (the best proxy for underlying growth) is up 26 per cent which is not only an acceleration from the prior season but bodes well as a lead indicator for UK retail sales.
A strong first quarter, with retail and wholesale tracking ahead of expectations. As the first quarter represents around 17 per cent of full-year sales, we are leaving our forecasts unchanged, although the general trajectory for sales and margins gives confidence in the potential for future upside.