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Polo Ralph Lauren reports sales gain

Premium US fashion house Polo Ralph Lauren reported a rise in revenues for its first quarter as both wholesale and retail sales soared.

For the three months to July 2 revenues grew by 32% to $1.5bn (£938m) with operating income also rising 62% to $282m (£174m). Net income rose 52% to $184m (£114m).

Sales in the wholesale segment rose 29% to $673m (£416m) helped by a double digit growth in shipping products around the world. Worldwide menswear, womenswear and kidswear were particularly strong in the quarter.

Retail sales grew by 37% to $814m (£503m) helped by like-for-like stores sales growth along with contribution from new stores. Consolidated comparable store sales rose by 19% in the quarter with a 14% growth at Ralph Lauren stores, a 20% rise at factory stores and a 16% growth at Club Monaco.

Sales on the company’s website, RalphLauren.com, grew by 28%.

Roger Farah, president and chief operating officer, said: “Our outstanding first quarter performance reflects the powerful diversity of our operating strategies across merchandise categories, distribution channels and geographies.”

He added: “Our core apparel products have gained market share and our long-term growth initiatives are on track. We achieved exceptional profit flow through on better-than-expected sales during the first quarter, particularly at our retail segment and in international markets, even as we invest for the future. We enter the fall and holiday selling seasons concerned about macroeconomic uncertainty and cost of goods inflation, but we are confident in the strength of our brands, the appeal of our products and the operational discipline of our organization as we navigate through these near-term challenges.”

For its second quarter Polo Ralph Lauren expects its consolidated revenues to increase at a high teens to low 20% rate. Wholesale and retail revenues are also expected to continue to rise.

After a stronger than expected first quarter, the company expects revenues for the financial year to increase at a mid to high teens rate, a rise from the mid-teens growth previously predicted.

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