Blog: Leonie BarrieCalvin Klein steals the show

Leonie Barrie | 29 March 2010

With Phillips-Van Heusen's (PVH) fourth quarter and full-year results coming so soon after its plans to buy Tommy Hilfiger were revealed, the US$3bn deal was expected to steal the show. In the event though, stalwart brand Calvin Klein took centre stage, thanks to a stellar and unexpected performance in the fourth quarter when royalty revenues surged up 22%.

The sales hike helped PVH to a fourth quarter profit of US$27m, and provides a reassuring picture for the company in the upcoming year. Initial feedback from the Tommy deal is good too, with growth in orders seen for autumn 2010 and key customer Macy's hinting that it could double the size of its Hilfiger business over the next three years.

British fashion retailer Next has also toasted an "exceptional" year after profit jumped 18% to GBP505m (US$754m). The UK retailer pledged to expand its sportswear offer and make better use of the internet in the coming 12 months, after revenues rose 4.1% to GBP3.4bn.

Next is also planning further ahead too, after being appointed as official clothing and homeware supplier to athletes and officials at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Another firm eyeing a bigger slice of the market in 2010 is consumer goods sourcing giant Li & Fung, which last week posted a 39% hike in full-year profit to HK$3.4bn. While turnover slipped 6% to HK$104.5bn (US$13.4bn), the impact was offset by tight cost controls and increased contributions from the company's higher-margin onshore businesses.

German fashion house Hugo Boss is going ahead with plans to shut its last US production plant, despite a Hollywood-style boycott of its suits led by actor Danny Glover. The closure, which is scheduled for 28 April, is described by Hugo Boss as "an unfortunate but necessary business decision."

A labour rights group is calling for better employment policies and social protection to help garment workers in Cambodia recover from the impact of the global economic downturn. The pleas come after new data from a survey led by the International Labour Organization (ILO) found many workers have had their salaries cut in the past year and now struggle to cover basic living costs.

Meanwhile, apparel makers in Macedonia (more accurately called 'the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia' due to an ongoing dispute with Greece over its name) say they are beginning to see the first signs of an upturn in demand as European retailers and importers increase orders again as they emerge from recession. The industry is setting itself up as a fast fashion supplier to European retailers and brands - especially those in the UK - with its small volumes and flexible production.


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