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Tommy Hilfiger posts record 2007 results

US casualwear brand Tommy Hilfiger scored record results for the year ended March 31, with EBITDA ahead 23.9% to €268 million (£211.7m).

Total group sales rose 14.4% to €1.34 billion (£1.05bn), equi-valent to retail sales value of €3bn (£2.37bn).

Group performance was boosted by the opening of 140 new stores, 42 of which are company-owned, taking the brand’s global portfolio to 796 shops.

The US casualwear brand also bought its European footwear licensee and Japanese licensee in the year, which helped to boost sales.

Europe was the strongest performing market with sales up 22.8% to €707m (£558.5m) and margin up to 26% against 25.4% the previous year, thanks to higher price points and improved sourcing. Retail sales in Europe rose 26.4% because of new stores and refits. Like-for-like store sales were up 3.8%.

Sales in North America were up 2.5% to US$836m (£408m), with margin at 14.2% against 13.4% the previous year.

Comparable sales at Tommy Hilfiger’s US stores were up 6.7% over the year, but wholesale revenue fell 11.4% as the group axed some of its discount ranges in line with its strategy to reposition itself at the premium end of the US market.

In Canada, sales fell back 2.1% while Japan, South Korea, Latin America and South America all demonstrated growth.

Tommy Hilfiger said strong trading had continued into the financial year with European wholesale orders for autumn 08 ahead by double digits.

Like-for-like sales at its European stores are also ahead by mid-single digits.

Tommy Hilfiger chief executive Fred Gehring said: “We are extremely proud of these record financials. For many years our international business outside the US has delivered consistent growth at a premium position.

“We are especially pleased as well that the initiatives we have undertaken in the past two years to elevate and reposition the brand in the US have delivered such strong results.

“We believe the group is now aligned globally and is strongly positioned for global expansion.”

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