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Boss Cuts Loss in Qtr.

BERLIN — Hugo Boss AG pared its net loss in the second quarter on strong sales gains, especially in its women’s business.<BR><BR>The Metzingen, Germany-based fashion house reported a net loss of 5 million euros, or $6 million, for the...

BERLIN — Hugo Boss AG pared its net loss in the second quarter on strong sales gains, especially in its women’s business.

The Metzingen, Germany-based fashion house reported a net loss of 5 million euros, or $6 million, for the three months ended June 30. By comparison, last year the company had a loss of 6.6 million euros, or $7.5 million. Euros have been converted at average exchange rates for the corresponding periods.

Group sales for the quarter rose 18 percent to 196.9 million euros, or $237.3 million, from 167.5 million euros, or $190.3 million, a year ago.

Boss Woman continued to make dramatic gains, the company said, as second-quarter sales surged 82 percent to 12.9 million euros, or $15.5 million.

For the first half of the fiscal year, Boss said net income grew 5.4 percent to 39.3 million euros, or $48.2 million, from 37.3 million euros, or $41.2 million, a year ago.

In the women’s business, first-half sales shot up 47 percent to 32 million euros, or $39.3 million.

Boss attributed about a third of the consolidated sales gains to the company’s integration of previously licensed product ranges, including bodywear, socks, knitwear, shoes and leather accessories.

Boss’ performance in the U.S. also improved considerably, the company said, as group sales in the U.S. rose 13 percent in euro terms and 25 percent in dollar terms versus last year’s first half.

In the German market, Boss reported a 13 percent sales gain for the quarter and an 8 percent gain for the first half of the year. The remainder of Europe grew sales 25 percent in the quarter and 12 percent in the first half. In its other markets, Boss saw second-quarter sales grow 21 percent and first-half sales for 2004 up 16 percent.

Boss’ managing board said in a statement it expects sales “to grow in fiscal 2004 when adjusted for currency effects, and income to increase, as well.”

— Melissa Drier