Hugo Boss says will grow faster than market in 2013

FRANKFURT Fri Feb 8, 2013 2:18am EST

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German fashion house Hugo Boss (BOSSn.DE) said it was confident of posting stronger growth than the luxury market in 2013 as it reported annual results at the top end of expectations.

"Despite the still challenging market environment, I am confident that we will continue to post stronger growth than the overall market in 2013," Chief Executive Claus Dietrich Lahrs said in a statement on Friday.

Consultancy Bain forecast growth of 4-6 percent a year for the luxury market through 2015, after 10 percent in 2012, as growth in China, which has been driving the luxury market, slows.

Hugo Boss, known for its men's suits, was expecting a slow start to 2013 before a pick-up for the rest of the year, its chief financial officer Mark Langer told Reuters in an interview last month.

For 2012, Hugo Boss reported sales up 10 percent on a currency-neutral basis to 2.35 billion euros ($3.15 billion) and a 13 percent rise in earnings before interest, tax depreciation, amortization and special items of 529 million.

The group had forecast 2012 sales to increase by up to 10 percent and core profit by 10-12 percent.

Hugo Boss is currently experiencing its fastest growth in the United States, where affluent professionals are snapping up Boss suits with their clean European stylings.

In China, which for the luxury industry had been offsetting weaker spending by European, growth had slowed in 2012 due to uncertainty over elections and as fewer people took to the country's shopping malls.

Hugo Boss did not break down its fourth-quarter sales by region on Friday, nor did it provide a full outlook for 2013. It will publish full results on March 14.

($1 = 0.7469 euros)

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)