By  on April 12, 2010

BERLIN — Hugo Boss AG on Monday projected a return to salesgrowth in 2010, though the German fashion house said a decline in 2009 preorders will continue to mute sales performance in the first half of the year.

Operative profits (EBITDA) in 2010 are expected to increase more than sales, the group said.

In line with preliminary figures released in February, final results for 2009 showed a 7 percent decline in net income to 104 million euros, or $145 million, which Boss attributed to extraordinary expenditures related to a strategic restructuring program. All dollar figures are converted from the euro at an average exchange rate for the year.

EBITDA (before special items) slid 6 percent to 270 million euros, or $376.6 million, while the operating profit margin (EBITDA before special effects, with reference to sales) was maintained at 17 percent.

Consolidated sales reached 1.56 billion euros, or $2.18 billion, a decline of 7 percent. Boss described the European market as “tense,” with sales falling 11 percent to 1.04 billion euros, or $1.45 billion. Sales in the Asia-Pacific and Americas regions rose 2 percent to 165 million euros, or $230.1 million, and 312 million euros, or $435.1 million, respectively. Sales in the U.S. rose 4 percent to 233 million euros, or $324.9 million, and Mexico also grew sales 4 percent to 27 million euros, or $37.7 million.

Noting “significant increases” in sales in the group’s own stores, Boss said it will further expand its network of directly operated stores by at least 50 doors in the current year. In 2009, the group’s 364 directly operated stores generated sales of 303 million euros, or $422.6 million, up 12.6 percent, accounting for 19 percent of total group sales compared with 16 percent in 2008.

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