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French Connection European trading comes in flat Wednesday, 15th May 2013
Photo credit: My Retail Media
French Connection said it saw a strong performance in the early weeks of the year, which softened in March but has improved again recently, in line with the same trend seen in the market as a whole.
"We are seeing progress from the initiatives that were instigated following the retail review last year and expect the impact of these to grow as the year progresses. Gross margin levels were slightly lower than last year," French Connection said in a company update.
The fashion retailer said UK/Europe wholesales revenues continued to be below last year’s levels, as a result of lower forward orders and reduced in-season business.
Elsewhere there were more positive signs for the brand, with retail revenue in North American up 5 per cent for the quarter thanks to a higher level of promotional sales. The group continued to perform well in Asia, despite the retail market slow-down in China and Hong Kong, as it noted a modest improvement in profit for the period.
Looking ahead, French Connection remained positive that the overall trend had improved with forward orders for the Winter 2013 season in line with those from 2012.
H&M hit by cold weather as April sales fail to meet expectations Wednesday, 15th May 2013
H&M Beijing store in China. Photo credit: H&M
Hennes & Mauritz on Wednesday revealed sales in April came in beneath expectations as cold weather continued to plague spring trading.
Same-store sales fell 1 per cent for the world’s second largest fashion retailer, beneath the 5.6 per cent consensus forecast polled by Reuters.
Total sales for the month were up 11 per cent, but still beneath the 14.6 per cent expected by analysts.
The Swedish fast fashion company cited the “unseasonably” cold weather that persisted across its key European markets as the main reason for the lagging sales, along with the continuing weak consumer demand on the continent.
With relatively soft comparable results from April 2012, the pressure is on for H&M to turnaround weaker sales in the current second quarter.
Gap Q1 earnings smash estimates Friday, 10th May 2013
Image courtesy of Gap
Gap has posted first-quarter projections that beat analysts’ estimates.
Shares in the company rose six per cent to USD 41.15 in after hours trading. Stock is up 39 per cent over the past 12 months.
For the quarter ended 4 May, the retailer has forecast per-share earnings of 68 cents to 69 cents. Analysts at Thomson Reuters originally estimates earnings of 56 cents.
Net sales for the period rose 6.9 per cent to USD 3.73 billion, topping analysts’ expectations of USD 3.67 billion.
For the five weeks ended 3 May Gap reported a total same-store sales rise of seven per cent, topping the 5.5 per cent estimation.
The business is planning to release its first quarter earning results on 23 May.
VF Corp revenues up 2% for first quarter Friday, 26th April 2013
Photo credit: Wrangler
The Wrangler, Lee Jeans and Timberland owner on Friday announced first quarter revenues rose 2 per cent, in line with forecasts, to USD 2.6 billion dollars, compared with the same period in 2012.
“VF’s first quarter performance is a great example of our strong business model, disciplined execution and our ability to leverage all aspects of our portfolio,” said Eric Wiseman, VF Corp chairman and chief executive officer, adding, “The combination of powerful brands and strong operating platforms creates a unique engine capable of delivering consistent, long-term shareholder value.”
Wragler’s revenues fell 2 per cent in the period, joined by a 6 per cent drop from Lee Jeans attributed to “challenging dynamics” in trading within the US and economic uncertainty in Europe.
However the group’s outdoor and action sports lines fared better for the period, with revenues up 10 per cent. North Face recorded a 6 per cent rise in revenues for the first quarter, while VF Corp’s Vans brand surged ahead with a 25 per cent increase including over 30 per cent increase in Europe. Timberland revenues came in level with expectations, rising 2 per cent in the quarter.
Overall, operating income on an adjusted basis grew 13 per cent to USD 360 million in the first quarter, while net income on an adjusted basis grew by 25 per cent to USD 273 million from the previous quarter.
Hermès Q1 profits beat estimates Monday, 22nd April 2013
Photo credit: Hermès
Iconic fashion brand Hermès on Monday posted first quarter sales ahead of forecasts, as the label reported strong demand for its silks, accessories and ready-to-wear lines.
Revenue came in at EUR 856.8 million for Hermès in the three months to 31 March, up 12.8 per cent at constant currencies and above and beyond analysts’ expectations of 11 per cent for the period.
Despite the key gains, Hermès reported a mix bag within its product lines, with sales of watches fall 5 per cent, attributed to a slowdown in luxury items in the Chinese market.
Growth in leather sales also slowed for the first quarter, down to 7 per cent from 15 per cent in the previous quarter. Hermès noted on Monday that production capacity, which has aided sales in the past, would “increase steadily” in 2013.
Overall, Hermès’ performance for the first quarter was a marked slowdown against the same period the year before, when Hermès defied turbulent conditions in the Eurozone to deliver a 17.6 per cent growth in sales. At the time Hermès chief executive Patrick Thomas told Reuters it would be “a very difficult year,” for the luxury brand, adding: "The beginning was easy...but the trend is not good."
Debenhams braces for sales dip after long winter Monday, 15th April 2013
Image courtesy of Debenhams
Debenhams attributed its poor performance to the recent prolonged winter as it issued a shock profit warning last month. The department store chain was forced to slash prices of clothing as two weeks of heavy snow hit consumer spending across the UK.
Debenhams is expected to report a first-half profit drop from £127 million to £120 million, despite like-for-like sales growing by around three per cent.
JC Penney sees three more top executives depart Thursday, 11th April 2013
Photo credit: JC Penney
Just two days after JC Penney parted ways with its chief executive Ron Johnson, sources have revealed three more top executives at the US retailer have left the company.
The New York Post on Wednesday reported chief operating officer Mike Kramer, chief talent officer Daniel Walker and chief creative officer Mike Fisher all exited the retailer this week.
Amidst the spate of departures it seems JC Penney is keen to restore confidence in the department store chain, after rehiring Johnson’s predecessor, former chief executive Myron Ullman, to head up the company once more.
Boost in confidence for SuperGroup as share prices rise Thursday, 4th April 2013
Superdry's new Trinity Leeds store. Photo credit: SuperGroup plc
Superdry owner SuperGroup got a much needed boost in confidence yesterday as a buy note saw stocks surge.
SuperGroup topped the mid-cap index on Wednesday, following a recommendation from Bethany Hocking at Investec that suggested the retailer’s turbulent past is “overshadowing the considerable changes that have taken place”.
Investec went on to cite “significant future growth opportunities” and new management as encouraging signs at the company, giving SuperGroup an 843p target price. Investec went on to predict that international and online revenues will achieve 30 per cent annual growth rates between 2012 and 2015, and will “account for over half of group sales by 2015”.
Shares rose 38.5p to 644p yesterday for SuperGroup, despite a fall overall for the stock market.
J Crew’s final quarter a sting in the tail to otherwise stellar results Thursday, 21st March 2013
Photo credit: J Crew
Fourth-quarter net profits fell 32.5 per cent for J Crew, despite the US fashion brand posting strong results for 2012 as a whole.
J Crew net profits rose 86.7 per cent in the year to 2 February, while revenues were up 20 per cent to USD 2.23 billion, with a 3 per cent comparable-sales gain. However the good news didn’t last all year, as WWD on Thursday reported J Crew’s quarter results were impacted by additional share-based and incentive compensation, while net income in last year’s final quarter benefited from transaction-related insurance recoveries. During the fourth quarter net profits fell 32.5 per cent to USD 10.2 million compared with the same quarter a year ago.
Speaking to WWD, J Crew’s chief financial officer Stuart C Haselden said that by stripping out non-comparable items, fourth quarter net income actually rose, pointing to the adjusted EBITDA as “a better apples-to-apples comparison”. In the final quarter J Crew’s adjusted EBITDA rose 18 per cent to USD 70.4 million from USD 59.5 million.
Fourth quarter revenues increased 21 per cent to USD 642.9 million, while comparable sales increased 11 per cent. Store sales rose 18 per cent to USD 416.9 million.
J Crew is planning to open 46 new stores in 2013, including its much-awaited European debut in London in time for the festive trading period.
Hugo Boss holds out for rebound in Asian markets Friday, 15th March 2013
Photo credit: Hugo Boss
Despite concerns the Asian luxury market could be suffering from a slowdown, Hugo Boss seems determined to ride out the storm.
Markets were spooked last year when Burberry confirmed its retail sales growth had experienced a sharp slowdown in its second quarter, as demand for its luxury goods eased in China. Hugo Boss experienced a similar set of results after its Chinese revenue rose just 4 per cent in 2012 and sales at shops open a year more fell in its second and third quarters.
However, it seems like it will take more than a few dips in sales growth to scare away Berlin-listed Hugo Boss, who reported that trade has picked up since 2012, and is now planning a fashion show for Shanghai in May, according to reports by the Independent.