• First-quarter net income up 5% to US$193m
  • Sales rose 4% to $1.6bn 
  • Retail sales grew 5% to $857m

Luxury apparel and accessories business Ralph Lauren today (8 August) posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings on the back of "robust expansion" over the past two years.

Net income rose 5% to reach US$193m in the quarter ended 30 June. Revenue rose 4% to $1.6bn, with wholesale revenue increasing 3% to $694m, and retail sales growing 5% to $857m.

Retail sales growth was driven by the contribution of new stores, e-commerce, and comparable store sales growth of 1%. However, this was partially offset by store closures as the company repositions its Greater China network.

"Our better-than-expected first quarter earnings demonstrate the operational discipline of our organisation," said president and COO Roger Farah.

"Our performance was achieved on top of exceptionally robust expansion in the preceding two years and despite our decision to wind down certain North American and Asian operations.

"Balanced revenue gains across all channels of distribution highlight the diversity of our business model. The resilience of our profit margins is particularly noteworthy as we continue to navigate through raw materials cost inflation and a high level of investment in our key growth objectives.

"While we are proud of our strong start to fiscal 2013, the outlook for consumer spending and global economic growth remains challenging and we are planning our business accordingly."