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Boss Reports Loss in Quarter

Hugo Boss reported a net loss of 6.1 million euros, or $9.5 million, in the second quarter on a 9 percent rise in sales.

BERLIN — Hugo Boss reported a net loss of 6.1 million euros, or $9.5 million at current exchange, in the second quarter on a 9 percent rise in sales to 321.1 million euros, or $502 million.

This story first appeared in the August 1, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

A company spokesman attributed the loss to the seasonal nature of the fashion business. The results compare with net losses of 6.2 million euros, or $9.7 million, in the corresponding period a year earlier. Earnings before interest and taxes for the quarter came in at a loss of 5.3 million euros, or $8.3 million, versus a loss of 5.6 million euros, or $8.8 million, a year earlier.

“The second and fourth quarters are always weaker,” the spokesman said.

Boss men’s wear sales gained 8.3 percent in the quarter, and women’s wear, 15.4 percent. In regional terms, the group achieved a 2 percent gain in Germany, 12 percent in the rest of Europe, 3.2 percent in the Americas and 19.9 percent in Asia and other regions.

For the first six months of this year, Boss increased consolidated sales by 4 percent (8 percent on a currency-adjusted basis). Due to a onetime effect due to changes in the Boss management board, EBIT for the first half of the year declined 5 percent. However, adjusted for a special charge of 13.5 million euros, or $20.7 million, EBIT rose 9 percent. Gross profit for the six-month period rose 7 percent to 489 million euros, or $748.4 million.

On the basis of this performance, Boss confirmed its sales and earnings forecast for 2008. The managing board is projecting currency-adjusted sales growth of 6 to 8 percent, with EBIT expected to increase by 8 to 10 percent before adjustments for special effects.