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Hugo Boss posts strong sales growth, confirms positive outlook

By Prachi Singh

4 May 2022


Image: Hugo Boss AG

In the first quarter of 2022, Hugo Boss reported currency-adjusted sales increase of 52 percent to 772 million euros against the prior-year period and 17 percent currency-adjusted compared to the first quarter of 2019, representing a further acceleration as compared to the final quarter of 2021. In group currency, revenues increased 55 percent.

The company’s operating profit (EBIT) totaled 40 million euros, well above the prior-year level. Consequently, net income increased to 26 million euros.

“We have made a kickstart to fiscal year 2022, with record first quarter sales,” said Daniel Grieder, chief executive officer of Hugo Boss, adding, “Supported by our bold branding refresh, momentum for Boss and Hugo has accelerated around the globe. Together with the ongoing rigorous execution of our Claim 5 strategy, this provides us with strong tailwinds to achieve record sales in fiscal year 2022.”

Hugo Boss Q1 revenues accelerate in Europe and Americas

The company said in a release that while momentum in Europe and the Americas continued throughout the first three months of the year, renewed pandemic-related restrictions in mainland China weighed on the overall business performance in Asia/Pacific.

In Europe, currency-adjusted sales increased 69 percent on the prior-year level, translating into growth of 21 percent on a three-year-stack basis. Great Britain and France recorded a three-year-stack growth of 32 percent and 13 percent, respectively, while sales in Germany were effectively in line with 2019 levels. Also in Eastern Europe, the company recorded high double-digit growth as compared to 2019 levels.

Revenues in the Americas were up 56 percent currency-adjusted as compared to the prior year period. Consequently, sales grew 17 percent versus 2019 levels, with all the markets recording sales increases versus pre-pandemic levels. In the U.S. market, revenues increased 9 percent versus 2019. While trends were similar in Canada, the company was able to continue its strong momentum in Latin America as reflected by high double-digit sales growth compared to 2019 levels.

Sales in the Asia/Pacific region came in 3 percent above the prior-year level and only 1% below that of 2019, both currency-adjusted. Currency-adjusted sales in mainland China remained 13 percent below the prior-year level, but were up 12 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019. While business in Hong Kong and Macao continued to be significantly impacted by lower tourism flows, markets such as Japan and Australia continued their overall business recovery, recording growth versus 2019 levels.

The brick-and-mortar retail business recorded double-digit sales improvements in the first quarter, with currency-adjusted revenues up 76 percent year-on-year. On a three-year stack basis, revenues were up 5 percent. Currency-adjusted sales in brick-and-mortar wholesale grew 44 percent compared to the prior-year -pandemic levels with an increase of 2 percent as compared to 2019.

Currency-adjusted digital sales increased 22 percent, with double digit improvements across all digital touchpoints. This development was supported by the relaunch of Hugoboss.com implemented in January. Compared to 2019, the currency-adjusted revenues were up 145 percent.

Sales in the licence business increased by 34 percent compared to the prior-year level, currency-adjusted, reflecting strong double-digit growth across all key product groups including fragrances, watches, and eyewear. Consequently, currency-adjusted revenues exceeded 2019 levels for the first time, growing 29 percent on a three-year-stack basis.

Hugo Boss posts sales growth across categories

Both Boss menswear and Boss womenswear, as well as Hugo recorded strong double-digit growth in the first quarter. On a three-year-stack basis, currency-adjusted sales for Boss menswear exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 17 percent, while sales for Boss womenswear remained on par. At Hugo, currency-adjusted sales grew 26 percent as compared to 2019.

The company further said that the casualwear business continued to drive growth across all brands, with a particularly strong contribution from product groups such as jersey, denim, and sneakers. For Hugo, casualwear sales doubled compared to 2019 levels. Formalwear offerings also recorded a robust performance in the first quarter.

Hugo Boss forecasts positive outlook

The Company continues to expect group sales in 2022 to increase between 10 percent and 15 percent to a level of between 3.1 billion euros and 3.2 billion euros. In addition, Hugo Boss is confident that the ongoing robust momentum in Europe and the Americas will continue, supported by a particularly strong order intake for fall/winter 2022, which is expected to drive wholesale sales in the second half of the year.

Driven by the anticipated robust top-line improvements, EBIT in fiscal year 2022 is expected to increase within a range of 10 percent to 25 percent to an amount of between 250 million euros and 285 million euros.

The company continues to expect the group’s net income to improve to a level of between 150 million euros and 180 million euros.