Green Pastures Ahead: Polo Net Up 165% and Outlook Strong

The growth engine at Polo Ralph Lauren keeps on churning, as evidenced by a 165.1 percent leap in the company’s first-quarter income.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Photo By WWD Staff

NEW YORK — Consumers with a seemingly insatiable appetite for apparel and accessories helped drive up net income at Polo Ralph Lauren 165.1 percent as revenue grew 24.1 percent.

Management at the iconic lifestyle company described its first-quarter results as strong, and its brand as well-received.

“With sales in our retail stores outperforming the industry, we see phenomenal response to our luxury designs. Our Polo brand continues to lead in the men’s wear arena, and its performance this spring at retail has never been stronger. The new deliveries of our Lauren women’s line have been well received,” said Ralph Lauren, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

Polo posted income of $13.4 million, or 13 cents, for the three months ended July 3, compared with $5.1 million, or 5 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Excluding adjustments such as restructuring charges and foreign currency gains and losses, first-quarter income would have been $14 million, or 14 cents, representing a 289.5 percent boost over last year’s net income of $3.6 million, or 4 cents.

On the top line, net revenues rose to $592.8 million from $477.7 million. Results include a 7.6 percent decline in licensing royalties, representing the loss of the Lauren licensing income, now reported as part of the wholesale business. Sales rose 28.8 percent to $535.8 million from $416.1 million, which includes a 47.9 percent jump in wholesale sales to $239 million from $161.6 million and retail sales gains of 16.6 percent to $296.8 million from $254.5 million. Same-store sales soared 16.1 percent at Ralph Lauren stores, 10.4 percent at the Club Monaco chain and 11.6 percent for the company’s outlet stores.

Roger Farah, president and chief operating officer, said in a telephone interview, “We’re very pleased with the results and the contribution from all the pieces and parts.”

The latest quarter represents the first time the company delivered a pre-fall women’s collection shipment to stores. Polo will also deliver a pre-spring collection, bringing the total number of shipments to four.

Farah explained that the pre-fall women’s collection was shipped to stores at the end of June and in early July, in advance of the fall runway deliveries that hit stores at the end of July and August.
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