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Tommy Hilfiger European retail sales soar

Tommy Hilfiger has revealed that global sales increased by 3.5% to EUR772m (£697.9m) in the six months to September 30.

In Europe retail sales rose 24.4% with like-for-likes up 2.5%. However, European growth was offset by a slowdown in wholesale sales resulting in an overall sales decrease in Europe of 6.4%.

Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by Apax Partners, said that wholesale sales dropped in Europe because of a more cautious stance by wholesale customers and due to Tommy Hilfiger’s strategic decision to reduce its wholesale customer base.

Chief executive Fred Gehring said: “We are very pleased with this set of mid-year results. They demonstrate the strength of the Tommy Hilfiger brand around the world in a still very challenging economic environment and illustrate the benefits of our balanced and diversified business model, both regionally as well as between retail and wholesale.

“During the period, we delivered upon our strategy to reduce our European customer base by 15%, in order to strengthen and consolidate our wholesale portfolio, which makes these results even more compelling.”

Gehring said the U.K. business was strong, thanks in part to tourists trading on the weaker pound.

In North America, like-for-like sales dropped 3.3% but total retail sales rose 11.6%. Overall North American sales rose 13.1% to EUR324m (£292.9m). Wholesale sales rose 23.3% following the addition of handbags and footwear in the US.

Tommy Hilfiger, which has 950 stores globally – 50% of which are wholly owned and operated - opened its global flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York during the period.

Sales in Japan rose 20.1%, but dropped 1.8% on a like-for-like basis. Sales at Tommy Hilfiger’s licensing partners in Middle and South America as well as the rest of Asia were up 9.8% and flat on a like-for-like basis.

Meanwhile, Gehring said the group’s plans for an initial public offering remain “on ice,” although a stock market listing is still part of the company’s vision.

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