• Q1 sales up 6% to HKD1.51bn
  • Growth was strongest in Hong Kong and South East Asia
  • Gross margin rose 2.8 percentage points to 59.8%

Apparel retailer Giordano International has posted a 6% increase in first-quarter sales, driven by increased demand in Hong Kong and South East Asia.

The Hong Kong-based company, whose brands include Giordano Ladies, Concepts One and BSX, saw sales reach HKD1.51bn (US$194.5m) for the quarter to 31 March, compared to HKD1.43bn in same period last year.

Brand sales and comparable store sales, however, slipped 2% year-on-year. Sales growth continued in Hong Kong and South East Asia but declined in mainland China and Taiwan markets. 

Gross margin rose 2.8 percentage points to 59.8% from 57.0% the prior year, reflecting product and market mix, and lower input costs.

"Our performance in 2013 has so far been very much a continuation of that in 2012, with weakening markets in mainland China and Taiwan offset by robust performance in Hong Kong and South East Asian market," said chairman and CEO Dr Peter Lau Kwok Kuen.

The company said it will introduce new store formats in China and develop new products for women this year. It also plans to open shops in markets with strong growth potential, including South East Asia and Saudi Arabia and Japan.