Hugo Boss reports quarterly net profit fall of 84% and closes 20 stores

Hugo Boss quarterly net profit fell 84 percent to 11 million euros ($12.25 million) with sales down 4 percent to 622 million. The net profit missed average analyst forecasts for 36 million, while sales were ahead of a consensus for 611 million.

Mark Langer, finance chief since 2010, took over as chief executive in May, replacing Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, who stepped down in February after a steep fall in sales in the United States and China.

Under Lahrs, the German brand known for its sharp men’s suits went more upmarket, opened hundreds of stores around the world and put a bigger focus on womenswear. Langer has already said he wants Boss to put the focus back on menswear.

“To return to profitable growth again in the medium term, we have made decisions that are painful to begin with,” Langer said in a statement on Friday. “The market environment will remain difficult for the foreseeable future.”

Boss, which announced in March it would close around 20 of its 145 stores in greater China, said it would shut around 20 less profitable stores globally in the next 18 months and focus in the United States on selling the brand in high-quality outlets to try to minimize discounting.

Hugo Boss now expects full-year currency adjusted sales to fall between zero and 3 percent, compared with a previous outlook for a rise, while it expects earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) before special items to fall 17 to 23 percent.

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