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Polo Hitting Its Stride: Quarterly Sales Surge, 2005 'A Breakout Year'

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. had a blockbuster fourth quarter that proved its ability to shift toward a retail-focused business model.

Polo retail sales bolted 326 percent in the quarter

Polo retail sales bolted 32.6 percent in the quarter.

Photo By John Calabrese

NEW YORK — Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. had a solid fourth quarter, and it’s looking for a blockbuster fiscal 2005.

The quarter was filled with multiple moving parts, yet the company got closer to its long-term goal of improved operations. Management said Wednesday total revenues gained 18.3 percent to $818.8 million from $692.3 million, which included a 12.5 percent decline in licensing royalties to $65.4 million from $74.7 million reflecting the shift in contribution from the Lauren line to wholesale sales. Retail sales gained a solid 32.6 percent while the Lauren by Ralph Lauren launch was on time and on budget.

The company also noted the consolidation of the European operation was completed on schedule. And Wednesday, the firm acquired greater control of its children’s wear license, with expectations to close a deal next month.

“We produced continued success in our retail group, we took back Lauren by Ralph Lauren and quickly built it into an even stronger brand, and we made remarkable progress on our long-term global strategies,” said Ralph Lauren, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

For the three months ended April 3, income rose 4.5 percent to $76.5 million, or 75 cents a diluted share, versus $73.2 million, or 74 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Excluding restructuring charges and foreign currency gains and losses in both periods, income was $80.4 million, or 79 cents a diluted

solid 32.6 percent while the Lauren by Ralph Lauren launch was on time and on budget.

The company also noted the consolidation of the European operation was completed on schedule. And Wednesday, the firm acquired greater control of its children’s wear license, with expectations to close a deal next month.

“We produced continued success in our retail group, we took back Lauren by Ralph Lauren and quickly built it into an even stronger brand, and we made remarkable progress on our long-term global strategies,” said Ralph Lauren, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

For the three months ended April 3, income rose 4.5 percent to $76.5 million, or 75 cents a diluted share, versus $73.2 million, or 74 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Excluding restructuring charges and foreign currency gains and losses in both periods, income was $80.4 million, or 79 cents a diluted share, compared with $76.1 million, or 77 cents, a year ago.
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