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Ralph Lauren posts 20% profits rise

Premium US fashion house Ralph Lauren has reported a year of “spectacular growth” as profits soared 20%.

Sales in the year to March 31 rose by 21% to $6.9bn (£4.4bn). Net income for the year was $681m (£434m) compared to $568m (£362m) the year before.

Sales in the fourth quarter grew by 14% to $1.6bn (£1.0bn) as the company saw double digit sales growth across both its retail and wholesale divisions. The company reported a net income of $94m (£60m) for the fourth quarter compared to $73m (£47m) in the fourth quarter of last year.

During the fourth quarter wholesale sales rose 10% to $828m (£527m) with wholesale revenues for the year rising by 17% to $3.2bn (£2.0bn).

Retail sales in the fourth quarter rose 19% to $752m (£479m) with comparable store sales increasing by 12%. Retail sales for the full year were 27% up to $3.4bn.

Chairman and chief executive Ralph Lauren said the company had seen another year of “spectacular growth”.

He added: “We made significant progress with our international expansion efforts and we launched exciting new products during the year. I am thrilled with the momentum we are gaining with our handbags worldwide and we will continue to invest in innovation and distribution to support this high growth merchandise category.”

He said the brand is in the middle of transforming its presence in Greater China, which is a region he believes will become “an important driver of growth” over the long term. Lauren said the company has “some magnificent new stores planned for the next several years”.

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