One-off costs linked to the group's strategic revamp and management changes left German fashion label Hugo Boss with a 2008 full-year profit of EUR112m (US$152m), down 27% on 2007.

However, underlying EBIT was up by 9% to EUR226m, ahead of most analysts' expectations, while adjusted EBITDA increased 4% to EUR287m.

Allowing for one-time expenses, EBIT fell 13.6% to EUR190m.

The company said it had managed to defend its position in a "difficult market environment", with sales up 3% (or 6% currency-adjusted) to EUR1.686bn.

Sales in Europe were up 2% to EUR1.17bn, but fell 1% in the "tense" German market to EUR357m.

In the Americas, sales rose 3% to EUR307m, with US revenues up 4% despite what Boss described as "turbulent" market conditions.

Sales in Asia-Pacific soared 21% to EUR162m, thanks to a strong performance in China, where revenues were up 24%.

And the company's own retail stores also put in an impressive performance, with sales up 12% to EUR269m.

Hugo Boss admitted that it was facing a difficult year ahead, but added: "In order to counter the current difficult global economic situation from a position of strength, the managing board of Hugo Boss AG has implemented an extensive programme to optimise processes and the cost structure."