Hugo Boss sees record quarterly sales, Europe and Americas boom
Hugo Boss was upbeat on Tuesday as it reported record quarterly sales and momentum accelerating further in Q4. It also said that its preliminary 2021 results have exceeded its guidance.
In the last quarter of the year, its currency-adjusted sales rose as much as 51% year-on-year to reach €906 million. They were up 55% on a reported basis.
Currency-adjusted, they also rose as much as 12% versus the 2019 fourth quarter. And digital sales represented 20% of the total. This means profit on an EBIT basis increases to €100 million.
Of course, the picture wasn't quite so bright when looking at 2021 as a whole, given that the year had been beset by pandemic-linked issues. However, currency adjusted group sales still rose 43% year-on-year and were only 1% below the level in 2019. Meanwhile, EBITDA was €228 million on a preliminary basis. The company will publish its full final results on March 10.
It was all good news and its chief executive’s upbeat tone seemed more than justified. Daniel Grieder called it “a highly successful year”.
He added: “We strongly accelerated our sales and earnings development throughout the year and also made first great strides in executing our new ‘CLAIM 5’ growth strategy. The upcoming weeks will see further important milestones, with the introduction of our new branding and the launch of the biggest Boss and Hugo marketing campaigns in our company’s history. Based on these exciting initiatives, we will further drive brand relevancy in 2022.”
The company said that the Q4 figures made it the most successful period in the group's history from a purely financial point of view, even though renewed concerns around the pandemic were an issue.
Some of the company’s stores remained closed due to the pandemic, but growth was supported by the fact that 98% of them were back in operation during the quarter.
And the company also benefited from what it said was “ongoing robust consumer sentiment in key markets”.
Looking at the individual brands, both Boss and Hugo posted “significant” sales improvements in the fourth quarter, “fuelled by strong increases across all wearing occasions”.
Growth was particularly driven by the brands’ “ongoing strength within casualwear, while formalwear sales also continued to recover noticeably, spurred by the occurrence of social events ahead of the holiday season”. Compared to 2019 levels, currency-adjusted sales for Boss grew by 10% while Hugo posted growth of 23%.
All regions contributed to this with Europe and the Americas "once more showing particular strength". Both regions saw significant double-digit sales increases year-on-year. On a two-year basis, currency-adjusted revenues in Europe were up 11% with all key markets – including the UK, Germany and France – contributing to sales growth. In the Americas, currency-adjusted sales rose 22%, with the key US market rising 15%, both compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Momentum also “picked up noticeably” in Asia/Pacific, where revenues grew in high-single-digits on the year, and 6% compared to 2019. Sales in mainland China grew 18% compared to 2019.
As mentioned, 20% of its sales were digital as it continued to post significant double-digit online growth in the final quarter. Total digital sales – including hugoboss.com, digital pure players, leading marketplaces, and ‘bricks and clicks’ – grew 50% on the year and a massive 85% on a two-year basis. The company wants digital to grow to between 25% and 30% of group sales by 2025.
The firm’s own webstore digital sales added up to €110 million in the final quarter of 2021, reflecting currency-adjusted growth of 33% against the prior year and 78% compared to 2019.
That helped the group's overall retail business see currency-adjusted sales up 51% on the prior year and 15% on a two-year basis. And wholesale increased by 60% versus last year, and 7% compared to 2019.
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