Hugo Boss back at pre-pandemic sales in UK, China

Recovery in China came despite calls for a boycott of Western brands

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

German fashion house Hugo Boss said it expected a rebound in its business to continue in the second half of the year as sales recovered to pre-pandemic levels in Britain and China in the second quarter.

“We are well prepared to further drive our business recovery also in the second half of the year,” said new chief executive Daniel Grieder, the former Tommy Hilfiger boss who is due to present his strategy later on Wednesday.

Hugo Boss shares were up 1.2 per cent at 0738 GMT.

The company known for its smart men’s suits said its core Boss brand saw sales down a currency-adjusted 5 per cent, while Hugo, aimed at a younger audience, reported sales rose 2 per cent.

While sales of casual styles continued to accelerate, as the working-from-home trend boosts more relaxed dressing, Hugo Boss said it had also seen a recovery in sales of formal wear due to pent-up demand for business and party fashion.

Hugo Boss, which had already reported preliminary second-quarter results last month, said sales were up 7 per cent compared to 2019 in the United Kingdom, and up 33 per cent in mainland China.

The recovery in China came despite calls for a boycott of Western brands launched in late March over Western accusations of forced labour in Xinjiang when at least three Chinese celebrities said in March they were dropping Hugo Boss.

Meanwhile, sales in Europe were just 4 per cent below levels recorded in 2019 and were down 5 per cent in the Americas. Around 20 per cent of the company’s global store network was still closed during the second quarter.

The company reiterated that it expects currency-adjusted group sales in fiscal year 2021 to increase by between 30 per cent and 35 per cent. – Reuters