Hugo Boss says it is confident about the current year

Hugo Boss says it is confident about the current year

Fashion business Hugo Boss says it is confident on the year ahead after booking an increase in fourth-quarter earnings and sales.

Sales in the three month period climbed 7% to EUR649m (US$880.8m) from EUR607m a year earlier. Adjusted for currency affects, sales were up 10%.

All regions and distribution channels contributed to the growth, particularly Europe, which recorded a double-digit increase. The group's own retail business also reported double-digit growth on the back of new store openings and a currency-adjusted increase in comp store sales of 3%.

Thanks to the increase in sales and a "significantly" improved gross margin, EBITDA was up 17% to EUR157m.

"Given the positive development of the closing quarter, we have reason to be confident about the current year," said CEO Claus-Dietrich Lahrs. "We have set ourselves the target to grow faster than last year and to outperform our industry."

Kepler analyst Jurgen Kolb said the numbers were in line with consensus and its expectations.

"We see no reason to change our estimates or rating. FY 2014 will be a year of opex increases, requiring an even stronger focus on LFL growth to leverage costs. We remain sceptical about whether the company will be able to deliver positive surprises."