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2011 a record year for Hugo Boss AG
Mar '12
HUGO BOSS AG achieved significant increases in sales and earnings in 2011, exceeding the original expectations. The management expects to improve these record results further in 2012.

“Last year's success is evidence of the attractiveness and the efficiency of our business model,” comments Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, CEO of HUGO BOSS AG. “Based in particular on our global brand strength and our increased retail expertise, I am confident that we can grow strongly in 2012, too.”

In the fourth quarter of 2011, sales climbed by 17% after adjustment for currency effects. In euros, the Group generated an 18% increase in sales to EUR 499 million (2010: EUR 422 million). This improvement was supported by double-digit currency-adjusted growth in all regions (Europe +14%, Americas +24%, Asia/Pacific +20%).

In wholesale, sales were up 4% on the previous year after adjustment for currency effects, while in the Group's own retail business (including outlets and online business) they rose by 28%. On a comp store basis, the increase in the Group's own retail business amounted to 6% after adjustment for currency effects.

Gross margin improved by 240 basis points to 66.2% (2010: 63.8%), primarily due to the higher share of sales in this distribution channel. As a result of efficiency improvements, EBITDA before special items increased more strongly than sales, rising by 26% to EUR 97 million (2010: EUR 77 million). The adjusted EBITDA margin thus increased by 120 basis points to 19.4% in the fourth quarter (2010: 18.2%).

The HUGO BOSS Group generated substantial growth in all divisions in 2011. Sales were up 19% both on a currency-neutral basis and in the reporting currency, amounting to EUR 2,059 million (2010: EUR 1,729 million).

Europe posted a 15% increase on a currency-neutral basis due to considerable growth in Germany and the UK in particular. The Americas and Asia/Pacific generated growth of 24% and 34% respectively thanks to significant increases in the US and Chinese markets. Wholesale sales were up 9% after adjustment for currency effects.

In the Group's own retail business, currency-adjusted sales were 35% higher than in the previous year. On a like-for-like basis and after adjustment for currency effects, the increase in the Group's own retail business amounted to 8%. The above-average sales growth in the Group's own retail business and a higher share of sales at full price contributed to a gross margin increase of 200 basis points to 61.4% (2010: 59.4%).

Supported by efficiency improvements, EBITDA before special items thus increased by 34% to EUR 469 million (2010: EUR 350 million). The adjusted EBITDA margin thus amounted to 22.8% (2010: 20.2%).

Net debt decreased by 26% to EUR 149 million at the end of the year (2010: EUR 201 million). The substantial earnings increase supported this development significantly, more than offsetting increases in trade net working capital and in capital expenditure, which amounted to EUR 108 million in 2011 and was thus considerably higher than the previous year's level of EUR 56 million.

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