Leading German fashion firm Hugo Boss on Monday slashed its earnings forecast for fiscal 2002 amid inventory discrepancies in the US and that country's weak economy.

The Metzingen-based company said in a news release it now sees net income of 95 million euros ($87m) for 2002 on a slight rise in sales compared to its net income for 2002 of 107 million euros.

The fashion house added it had previously expected earnings to be steady and also admitted it expects flat sales at Boss Woman and earnings were unlikely to hit targets.

However, on the bright side the company said: "Our core business outside the US will continue to grow this year, both in sales and net profit."

Also on Monday, incoming Hugo Boss CEO, Bruno Saelzer, told Die Welt Reports that he expects the company to be the world leader in premium men's fashion by 2012.

He added he expects that market share to be at the expense of luxury goods makers LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Compagnie Financiere de Richemont and Gucci Group.