By  on April 29, 2010

BERLIN — Despite decreases in earnings and sales in the first quarter of 2010, the Hugo Boss Group reasserted it will “return to growth in 2010.”

Net income declined 11 percent in the quarter ending March 31 to 56.3 million euros, or $78 million, and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were down 10 percent to 76.2 million euros, or $105.6 million. All dollar figures are converted from the euro at average exchange for the period.

Group sales slipped 8 percent to 444.2 million euros, or $615.7 million. Boss said lower pre-order volumes from the recession year 2009 continued to impact its wholesale business, but noted sales from directly operated stores surged 25 percent to reach 83 million euros, or $115 million.

Sales in Europe were down 12 percent to 305 million euros, or $422.7 million, while sales in the Americas rose 5 percent in local currency, and even more in the U.S., which booked an 8 percent increase in local currency for the period. In euros, sales in the U.S. rose 2 percent to 59 million euros, or $81.8 million.

In the Asia-Pacific region, sales rose 4 percent to 48 million euros, or $66.5 million, including China, where sales gained 23.5 percent to reach 21 million euros, or $29.1 million.

For 2010 as a whole, Boss is forecasting single-digit sales growth, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) expected to increase somewhat more strongly than sales.

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