Hugo Boss confirms 2011 outlook after Q3 results

FRANKFURT Wed Nov 2, 2011 3:38am EDT

A man looks at a shop window outside the Hugo Boss showroom inside a shopping mall in Mumbai August 23, 2011.  REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

A man looks at a shop window outside the Hugo Boss showroom inside a shopping mall in Mumbai August 23, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German fashion house Hugo Boss BOSG_p.DE confirmed its outlook for 2011 as it reported forecast-beating third-quarter results on Thursday, adding to signs the premium and luxury sector has not yet been hit by the global economic slowdown.

"We are very confident that we will reach our sales and earnings forecast for the year as a whole," Chief Executive Claus-Dietrich Lahrs said in a statement on Wednesday, adding this was based on strong growth in China and the United States.

Concerns that soaring demand for luxury goods over the last year will wane as the global economic slowdown bites even wealthy customers hit luxury stocks in late September and early October.

However, groups such as LVMH (LVMH.PA), Burberry (BRBY.L), and Gucci owner PPR (PRTP.PA) have since said they were not seeing a slowdown.

Hugo Boss, known predominantly for its sharp suits, is aiming to grow sales by between 15 and 17 percent on a currency neutral basis and core operating profit by between 25 and 30 percent for 2011 as a whole.

The group, majority owned by private equity investor Permira, reported an 18 percent rise in third-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and special items to 177 million euros ($242 million).

It also reported EBIT of 159.7 million euros and sales up 16 percent on a currency neutral basis to 615 million, ahead of the average analyst forecasts for 148 million euros and 597 million in a Reuters poll.

($1 = 0.731 Euros)

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan)