REPORT The Hugo Boss Group reported positive growth for the fifth consecutive year in 2014. Sales and operating profit also reached new levels. In the full year 2014, consolidated sales rose 6 percent, adjusted for currency movements and on a preliminary basis. Likewise, in the reporting currency, this amounts to a rise of 6 percent to 2,572 million euros (2,949.6 million dollars).
In the fourth quarter as well, the Group recorded improvements of sales and profit, despite tough business environment compared to the previous quarters. The company reported 3 percent sales growth after adjusting for exchange rate effects on a preliminary, non-audited basis. This amounts to a 5 percent increase in the reporting currency to 684 million euros (784.7 million dollars).
“In 2014, we demonstrated that we stay on course even in difficult market conditions. While the fashion industry stagnated or even shrunk in many markets, we have clearly grown,” commented Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, CEO of Hugo Boss, adding, “As a result, we added a billion euro to sales and tripled profits within only five years. 2015 will not become any easier in light of the many economic and political uncertainties, but we are confident it will be another growth year for Hugo Boss.”
All regions and distribution channels contributed to the growth. In Asia/Pacific and Europe sales increased above the Group average. However, growth in Europe slowed compared to earlier in the year despite ongoing double-digit increases in markets such as Great Britain and Spain. The sales increase in the Group's own retail business was driven by the expansion of the store network. On a comparable store basis, sales remained stable in the fourth quarter after adjusting for foreign exchange effects. The Boss womenswear business continued to outperform as a result of the unique handwriting by designer Jason Wu. Operating profit (EBITDA before special items) rose 6 percent during the quarter.
Growing at a double-digit rate, the Group’s own retail business was once again the growth driver during the full year. EBITDA before special items improved 5 percent and earnings before taxes rose 1 percent on a preliminary basis.
The Group is set to announce its audited financial results for the 2014 financial year and its outlook for 2015 on March 12, 2015.