Hugo Boss earnings up after it saw strong sales in Asia

City A.M. Reporter
GERMAN fashion group Hugo Boss yesterday raised its 2010 outlook after a faster-than-expected recovery in the luxury goods market, together with its strategy of opening more stores, helped it beat third-quarter forecasts.

After a sharp downturn, the luxury market has started to recover in 2010, driven by tourist shoppers from emerging markets such as China.

In its third quarter, Hugo Boss saw EBITDA jump 42 per cent to €150m (£132m).

It now forecasts operating profits will be 20 per cent up on last year, against earlier estimates of between 10 per cent and 12 per cent.

“Suits seem to fly off hangers,” the Frankfurt-based trader said.

Its shares have gained 79 per cent this year as prospects for the luxury sector have improved.

A spokeswoman said Hugo Boss was satisfied with all of its markets and was aiming to open up to 60 of its own shops in 2010, which would take the total to 425.

Hugo Boss, majority-owned by private equity company Permira, said third-quarter results were driven by its growing retail business and a Chinese joint venture with franchise partner Rainbow, which it intends to use to boost its retail presence in the Asia/Pacific region.

It said it would give more details in its nine-month results, to be published on 2 November. Last week, chief executive Claus-Dietrich Lahrs said that luxury markets might bounce back much faster than previously thought.