Hugo Boss reports strong sales but profits dip

A sales slowdown in China and the US at designer Hugo Boss was off-set by its success in dressing women in Europe, the German fashion group revealed today.

Hugo Boss, traditionally known for its menswear, recruited womenswear designer Jason Wu last year.

Wu, who counts the US first lady Michelle Obama as a fan, launched his first collection at the brand in February.

Demand for its womenswear helped the group report sales ahead 6 per cent for the first quarter in local currencies and up 3 per cent in euro terms to €613m.

Its European business was strongest with 8 per cent sales growth for the period while Asia sales were up 7 per cent in local currencies. Its US business suffered and sales fell 2 per cent.

Its wholesale business struggled and was down 6 per cent but the group said gross profit margin improved by 360 basis points to 65.4 per cent and overall net profit was flat for the period at €81.6 million.

The fashion group said it had reduced net debt by €97m to €27m in the period and will continue to expand this year. It plans around 50 new shops globally by the end of 2014.

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