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Ralph Lauren beat fueled by fewer discounts, cost cuts

Reuters 

(Reuters) - topped quarterly profit and revenue estimates as the benefited from a focus on offering fewer discounts and cost cutting, sending its shares up over 5 percent on Tuesday.

The New York-based fashion company, like peers and Calvin Klein-owner PVH Corp, has pulled heavily discounted products from department store shelves to regain its premium brand status.

Ralph Lauren, known for its signature Polo shirts and classic tweed blazers, is also investing in its core brands, cutting jobs, reducing excess inventory and shutting underperforming stores, while pushing its to bring the latest fashion to stores faster.

The company boosted spending on marketing by about 20 percent mainly for its Spring Polo campaign that features its iconic white Polo shirt, helping the men's Polo shirts category grow double digits percentage in the quarter.

Ralph Lauren also tweaked its revenue forecast for fiscal 2019. It now expects revenue to be down slightly, compared with a low-single digit decline it forecast earlier.

"Improvements in the business, as well as the raised guidance help increase investor confidence in long-term growth," said

Ralph Lauren's shares rose as much as 8.8 percent to an over three-year high of $147.79, before paring gains. They have gained over 30 percent this year.

The iconic brand is also expanding in international markets through new small-format stores as its biggest market saturates.

"Mainland China is our largest near-term opportunity," said on a post-earnings call, adding that the tariffs announced so far have had a minimal impact on business.

Ralph Lauren is also wooing millennials through new designs that add embroidery, print and color blocking, refreshed fabrics and increased functionality.

Net income jumped 83 percent to $109 million in the second ended June 30, also helped by a lower tax rate.

Excluding certain items, the company earned $1.54 per share, going past analysts' average estimate of $1.36, according to I/B/E/S.

Gross margins increased 120 basis points to 64.4 percent, while average revenue per unit sold rose 8 percent.

Revenue rose 3.2 percent to $1.39 billion, the first increase in at least 13 quarters, also topping estimate of $1.36 billion.

The company is targeting a return to revenue growth in fiscal 2020 in constant currency.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by and Sriraj Kalluvila)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 31 2018. 21:06 IST
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