Hugo Boss sees recovery for stores, online and U.S.

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German fashion house Hugo Boss (BOSSn.DE) reported a 5 percent increase in currency-adjusted sales in the fourth-quarter, driven by a rebound in growth at its own stores, a jump in online sales and a recovery in the United States.

After a string of profit warnings, Hugo Boss has been slashing prices in China to bring them closer to European and U.S. levels, making efforts to appeal to younger customers, investing in its website and closing loss-making stores.

Hugo Boss said sales rose 1 percent to 735 million euros ($902.14 million), compared with average analyst forecasts for 732 million euros, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. It reports full figures for the quarter on March 8.

It said sales from its own retail business rose 7 percent in the quarter on a same-store basis, and it saw growth of 11 percent in the United States, where it has been making efforts to move the brand more upmarket by stopping selling in discount outlets.

It also said online sales, which had fallen in the first quarter, jumped 42 percent after it moved to improve its website, boost its ranking on search engines and offer more lower-priced garments.

Hugo Boss said it expects its 2017 earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) before special items to come in at about the 493 million euros it reported for 2016, in line with its forecast.

($1 = 0.8147 euros)

Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Emma Thomasson, editing by Louise Heavens



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