Polo Ralph Lauren tops forecasts

City A.M. Reporter
POLO Ralph Lauren yesterday posted a bigger-than-expected jump in quarterly profit on strong clothing sales over the holiday season and said its momentum should continue in the current quarter.

The upscale clothier and retailer, whose brands include Polo, Club Monaco and Chaps, reported double-digit percentage sales increases in every part of the business, including sales to department stores and sales at its high-end shops and outlets. Polo also doubled its dividend.

Revenue from its wholesale business, which accounted for nearly half of overall sales and includes sales to chains such as Macy’s and Nordstrom rose 21 per cent.

Sales at Polo’s own stores open at least a year were up 15 per cent.

Polo predicted its hot streak would continue in the current quarter, its last of the fiscal year, forecasting revenue for the full-year would be up by a low double-digit percentage.

The company said net income rose to $168.4m (£104.7m), or $1.72 a share, in the fiscal third quarter ending 1 January, from $111.1m, or $1.10 a share, a year earlier.

That was far above the $1.29 analysts had expected. Net revenue rose 24 per cent to $1.5bn, also above Wall Street forecasts. The firm’s board doubled the quarterly cash dividend to 20 cents a share and authorised an additional $250m stock buyback programme.