In the first quarter of 2021, Hugo Boss sales declined by 8 percent, currency-adjusted, while in group currency, sales decreased 10 percent to 497 million euros. The company said, while the negative implications of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to weigh on key European markets, momentum further accelerated along the strategic growth drivers – online, mainland China and casualwear.
In addition, sequential improvements in the important U.S. business as well as a robust performance of the group’s wholesale business contributed positively to the overall sales development in the first quarter.
“Despite ongoing implications of the pandemic, especially in Europe, we have seen a solid and promising start into the year,” says Yves Müller, spokesperson of the managing board of Hugo Boss Ag in a release, adding, “All this makes us confident for the remainder of the year as we expect both sales and EBIT to recover noticeably in the further course of 2021.”
Hugo Boss Q1 performance across regions
The company added that sales in Asia/Pacific rose to 101 million euros, reflecting a currency-adjusted increase of 39 percent compared to the prior year driven by mainland China, where sales almost doubled reflecting local demand as well as the successful execution of regional events such as Chinese New Year in February.
Also in the Americas, Hugo Boss successfully continued its business recovery, with currency-adjusted sales down 11 percent, while in group currency, sales amounted to 80 million euros. Also in the U.S. market, the sales decline was limited to 11 percent currency-adjusted, recording a further sequential improvement as compared to previous quarters.
In Europe, with an average of almost 50 percent retail points of sale closed during the first three months of 2021, in particular the extended lockdowns and accompanying temporary store closures weighed on consumer sentiment in several key markets, including the UK, France, and Germany. Consequently, currency-adjusted sales in Europe decreased 17 percent to 299 million euros.
Hugo Boss sees online sales jump in Q1
Momentum in the company’s online business accelerated with sales up 72 percent driven by strong double-digit improvements at both the company’s online flagship Hugoboss.com as well as at partner websites operated in the concession model.
Overall, retail sales decreased 14 percent in the first quarter, while wholesale sales were up 1 percent, both currency-adjusted.
While both brands, Boss and Hugo, posted currency-adjusted sales declines of 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively, their casualwear sales accounted for approximately 50 percent of total sales in the first quarter, returning to mid-single-digit growth, reflecting healthy demand across all product categories, including polo shirts, sweatshirts, tracksuits, and sneakers, as well as strong sell-through of the latest “Boss x Russell Athletic” and “Boss x NBA” casualwear capsules.
Overall, EBIT amounted to plus 1 million euros in the first quarter compared to minus 14 million euros in the prior-year period.
Hugo Boss expects that sales in the second quarter will almost double those of the prior-year period, and remains optimistic of generating a positive EBIT in Q2.