Luxottica & Burberry: Luxury hits back

Friday, 29 April 2011

German fashion house Hugo Boss  followed luxury peers LVMH and Burberry with a jump in sales and profits for the start of 2011 as Asian demand for European luxury labels continues unabated. Luxottica also posted strong profits on Thursday.

Hugo Boss forecast 2011 sales up at least 12 percent and core profit up 15 percent, with growth to be driven by China and the United States and expansion of its network of own stores.

Shares in the group hit an all-time high of 66.41 euros after the results, with analysts saying the group's guidance for the year now looks too conservative, reported Reuters. Hugo Boss shares had already doubled over the past year and Thursday's gains are more good news for Permira, the private equity firm that owns 72 percent of the group. It has previously said it is in no hurry to sell its stake in the group. "The first quarter results confirm that we have carried our momentum from 2010 into 2011," Hugo Boss Chief Executive Claus-Dietrich Lahrs said in a statement on Thursday.

Luxottica Group SpA on Thursday posted a 21% increase in first-quarter profit, helped by a sales rebound in the U.S. The performance was spurred by strong growth of premium brands, said Chief Executive Andrea Guerra, whose company owns the Ray-Ban and Oakley brands and makes eyewear under license for luxury labels such as Burberry Group PLC, Prada SpA and Tiffany & Co. "The luxury segment suffered a lot in 2008 and 2009 but it's been recovering very well for the past 24 months, which brings a lot of value," he said.

The company reported net profit of €114.7 million, up from €95.1 million a year earlier, while sales rose 12% to €1.56 billion from €1.39 billion. Revenue rose 9.2% if foreign currency effects were excluded.

Elsewhere, Gap Inc. closed Wednesday's trading session at $23.04. In the past year, the stock has hit a 52-week low of $16.62 and 52-week high of $26.04. Gap stock has been showing support around $22.41 and resistance in the $23.49 range.  Finally, H&M approved the dividend of SEK 9.50 per share in accordance with the Board of Directors’ proposal. The record day is 3 May 2011. The dividend is expected to be paid out by Euroclear Sweden AB on 6 May 2011.

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