Hugo Boss results defy the gloom

HUGO BOSS, the German fashion house, posted a better-than-expected rise in third quarter profits yesterday, as the luxury sector continued to defy the effects of the global economic slowdown.

The business, which is majority owned by the private equity firm Permira, reported a 30 per cent rise in bottom-line profit to €119.7m (£103.1m) in the period from July to September on a 14 per cent increase in revenue.

Chief executive Claus-Dietrich Lahrs said: “We are very confident that we will reach our sales and earnings forecast for the year as a whole.”

Hugo Boss’s outlook for 2012 was less upbeat, warning that the euro debt crisis could jeopardise growth.

Group sales were up 20 per cent in the first nine months after adjustment for currency effects, driven by strong growth in Asia and the US. The retailer has forecast sales to rise by 15–17 per cent for 2011.

In Europe, demand for luxury goods in Russia and eastern Europe helped offset a “deterioration” of consumer confidence in the UK, which it blamed on public austerity plans and high inflation.

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