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AllSaints bounce back from recession

REPORT_ AllSaints from Spitalfields has seen its sales grow more than 10 percent in the past year, from 197 to 219 million pounds.

The directional high street brand is owned by Lion Capital, which also operated Jimmy Choo and more recently the Dutch department store Hema.

The company's losses dropped from 19.7 to 1 million pounds

The company disclosed its operation loss dropped from 19.7 million pounds to 1 million pounds, while its pre-tax loses were also halved.

AllSaints currently operates in 10 countries, with further expansion planned in Europe, the Middle East and Hawaii. A flagship in Seoul is expected to open before Christmas. It's online presence also includes over 200 stores worldwide.

A turnaround programme introduced by chief executive William Kim, who joined two years’ ago from Burberry, is on track.

The company streamlined its business after the recession, and cut its numbers of suppliers from 400 to 55 in a cost saving exercise.

"We are a unique brand and we know that our customers come to our stores at least 11 times a year," The Times reported Kim as saying. "Everything we do is absolutely consistent, so a shopper anywhere in the world can enter an AllSaints store and enjoy the same customer experience as they would in a London store."

French luxury conglomerate LVMH and Hermès have revealed details surrounding the settlement agreement which will put an end to the four year dispute regarding LVMH\'s increasing 23.2 percent stake in Hermès, which is estimated to be worth nearly 6.5 billion euros.

In September the two parties announced that they had signed an agreement which would see LVMH distribute all of its Hermès shares to its shareholders, on the understanding that Christian Dior, which currently controls 40.9 percent of LVMH shares through Financière Jean Goujon, would disburse the shares to its own shareholders.

The board of directors at LVMH will submit a resolution to its shareholders during a combined general meeting, which will be held on November 25, to approve of the distribution of the shares. If approved by the board, the share distributions will be paid on December 17.

LVMH, Christian Dior and Financière Jean Goujon, companies which are all held by Bernard Arnault, have agreed not to acquire any new shares in Hermès for the next five years, with the exception of Hermès shares representing rights to “fractional interests or non-distributed shares due to the distribution ratio,” said the holding company in a press release.

These shares are said to be sold no later than September 3, 2015.

REPORT_ The iconic department store posted sales in fiscal 2013 of 1.2 billion pounds, an increase of 10.4 percent on the year before. Selfridges, which is a privately-owned company and releases only partial results, said that operating profit jumped 12.3 percent to 150 million pounds. The group said gains had been made across all retail channels.

"Despite challenging trading conditions in 2014, we are accelerating our investment in multi-channel and continuing our 300 million pound redevelopment programme of our Oxford Street Store," said managing director Paul Kelly. WWD reports that Selfridges intends to double the size of its luxury accessories department, making it probably the largest in the world.

During 2013, Selfridges invested 50 million pounds in several projects, including a new Denim Studio which is said to be the world's biggest denim space, the international launch of its webshop selfridges.com and the opening of a Men's Personal Shopping service.

The group is optimistic about the upcoming holiday season. Another of its managing directors, Anne Pitcher, said its product offering and a new campaign would 'ensure Selfridges will be the destination for Christmas'.

REPORT_ For the year ended 1 February 2014, Harrods reported a climb in turnover of 11 percent to 108.8 million pounds, compared with 716.3 million pounds the previous year. The department store called it \'another record year\' and was able to pay out a dividend of 117.6 million pounds to owner Qatar Holding.

Harrods posted operating profits of 122.9 million pounds, up 13 percent from last year. Meanwhile, pre-tax profits dropped to 107.7 million pounds, compared with an exceptional 632 million pounds last year as a result of the sale of trademarks amounting to 541 million pounds.

The department store, which was acquired by Qatar Holding - the investment arm of the Qatari royal family's wealth fund - in 2010, spent 58.9 million in capital investments in the past year, focusing primarily on luxury boutiques in the Knightsbridge store and on airport stores. Harrods says it expects to maintain this level of investment during the coming year.

Beloved British retailer Marks & Spencer´s is said to be the next in joining apparel peers such as Supergroup or Next in issuing an earnings warning based on the effects of extremely warm weather in autumn.

According to market sources consulted by Reuters, Marks & Spencer is set to report its thirteenth straight quarterly fall in underlying non-food sales, with trading hurt by Britain's warm autumnal weather, the continuing "settling in" of a new website and a sluggish economic recovery.

Thus, Marks & Spencer is expected to say the results for the 13 weeks to September, 27, its fiscal second quarter, reflected Britain's mild autumn - not helpful for shifting high-margin winter coats, knitwear and boots.

Official data published on October, 23 also showed British retail sales fell more than expected in September, the most important month in M&S's second quarter. The data added to signs the country's economic recovery is losing some of its pace, reported Reuters.

In this context, the retailer will publish its second-quarter sales figures on November, 5 and is anticipated to report a fall in sales of general merchandise - clothing, footwear and homewares - of 3.7 percent from shops open over a year, according to a consensus of analysts' forecasts provided by the company. That compares with a first-quarter decline of 1.5 percent.

In the same vein, the first British clothing retailer by sales will also reports first-half results which are expected to show a 3.7 percent fall in pretax profit to 252 million pounds, down for a fourth straight year.

Supergroup surprises market with spooky profit warning

SuperGroup (SGP.L), owner of Superdry brand, has surprised the market with a lower full-year profit guidance, following the likes of Next or N Brown, just to mention but a few. The spooky notice was argued as those of its British fashion peers: the demand for its winter collection has sharply fallen due to an unusually warm autumn.

"After a strong start to the quarter, September and October have both seen an exceptional period of warm weather across the UK and the rest of Europe which is expected to continue into November," SuperGroup said in a statement.

Total retail sales in the 13 weeks to Oct. 25, its second quarter, were up 11.4 percent, including new space, but fell 4.2 percent at stores open over a year, with trading becoming much more difficult in recent weeks. In wholesale, delayed orders due to the tough conditions sent sales down 3.7 percent. However, the retail group said its growth strategy remains on track and unchanged by the short term external events being experienced.

On the wake of the spooky news and in the warmest Halloween remembered,SuperGroup´s share price plummeted Friday in early trading, shredding more than 9 percent in London.

Unseasonably warm weather ignites “uncertainty around the future performance”

The firm's surprise statement follows one on Wednesday from Next (NXT.L), Britain's No. 2 clothing retailer, which also cut its profit forecasts due to the impact of warm weather, prompting analysts to expect a highly-promotional run-in to Christmas as retailers battle to shift unwanted stock.

It is noteworthy that the so-called Indian summer is badly affecting retailers, which have not had the opportunity yet to sell their autumn ranges.

"This has resulted in a high degree of uncertainty around the future performance of the autumn/winter range, particularly outerwear... a significant part of the Superdry product mix."

That uncertainty, coupled with the high levels of sector discounting and the firm's investment programme, forced a more cautious outlook on a second half which generates 70-80 percent of the group's full-year profit, SuperGroup said.

The company now expects full-year profit to now be in the range of 60 to 65 million pounds, compared to analyst forecasts of between 69 and 73 million pounds, according to Reuters data.

REPORT_ Columbia Sportswear Company announced record net sales of 675.3 million dollars for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, an increase of 152.2 million dollars, or 29 percent, compared with net sales of 523.1 million dollars for the same period in 2013. Third quarter operating income increased 28 percent to 98.3 million dollars and net income grew 20 percent to 65.6 million dollars, or 0.93 dollars per diluted share.

Tim Boyle, Columbia's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, saying, “I'm thrilled to announce these outstanding third quarter results which reflect strong performance by our Columbia and Sorel brands in North American wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels. In addition, strengthening of the Columbia brand in our Europe-direct markets and incremental sales from our new China JV and newly-acquired prAna brand further bolstered top-line growth.

“In response to our strong year-to-date performance, we raised our full year 2014 financial outlook to anticipate consolidated net sales growth of approximately 22 percent and a 35 percent increase in net income. In addition, we raised our quarterly dividend for the second time this year, bringing the cumulative increase in the dividend during 2014 to 20 percent,” Boyle added.

Third quarter consolidated net sales growth of 152.2 million dollars included organic growth of approximately 73.3 million dollars, or 14 percent, coupled with incremental net sales of approximately 50.7 million dollars from the company's China joint venture and approximately 28.2 million dollars from the newly-acquired prAna brand. Changes in currency exchange rates negatively affected the year-over-year net sales comparison by less than 1 percentage point.

Net sales in the US increased 26 percent to 406.3 million dollars, including 28.2 million dollars of incremental prAna net sales; Latin America/Asia Pacific (LAAP) region net sales increased 72 percent to 123.5 million dollars, including 50.7 million dollars of incremental sales from the company's new China joint venture and a 1 percentage point benefit from changes in currency exchange rates; Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) region net sales increased 1 percent to 78.8 million dollars, including a 1 percentage point benefit from changes in currency exchange rates. Net sales in Canada increased 34 percent to 66.7 million dollars, including a 6 percentage point negative effect from changes in currency exchange rates. Apparel, accessories & equipment net sales grew 28 percent to 549.4 million dollars. Footwear net sales increased 33 percent to 125.9 million dollars.

Columbia brand net sales increased 29 percent to 555.4 million dollars, Sorel brand net sales increased 23 percent to 58.2 million dollars, and the newly-acquired prAna brand contributed 28.2 million dollars of incremental net sales. Those increases were partially offset by a 24 percent decline in Mountain Hardwear net sales to 31 million dollars.

Company expects full year 2014 financial results to include global net sales of approximately 2.06 billion dollars, representing 22 percent growth over 2013 net sales of 1.68 billion dollars. Gross margin expansion is expected to be up to 130 basis points compared with 2013 and net income after non-controlling interest of approximately 127 million dollars, or approximately 1.80 dollars per diluted share, representing an increase of approximately 35 percent compared to 94.3 million dollars, or 1.36 dollars per diluted share, in 2013.

For fiscal 2015, company expects net sales to grow at a double-digit rate compared with current 2014 net sales outlook of approximately 2.06 billion dollars.

REPORT_ Steve Madden in financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014 said that company’s net sales were 392 million dollars compared to 394.8 million dollars in the same period of 2013. Gross margin was 34.7 percent compared to 35.4 percent in the same period last year.

Operating expenses as a percentage of sales were 20.9 percent compared to 19.4 percent of sales in the same period of 2013. Operating income totaled 59.3 million dollars, or 15.1 percent of net sales, compared with operating income of 68.1 million dollars, or 17.2 percent of net sales, in the same period of 2013.

Net income was 39.2 million dollars, or 0.62 dollars per diluted share, compared to 44 million dollars, or 0.66 dollars per diluted share in the prior year's third quarter.

Commenting on the results, Edward Rosenfeld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “As previously reported, business during the third quarter was softer than we anticipated, particularly in our retail segment, as we continue to be impacted by a lack of significant fashion footwear trends on which to capitalize. In August, we added a powerful contemporary footwear brand to our portfolio with the acquisition of Dolce Vita, and in September, we signed a definitive agreement to acquire our Mexican licensee, an important move in our continued international expansion.”

Net sales from the wholesale business were 343.3 million dollars in the third quarter compared to 345.9 million dollars in the third quarter of 2013. Excluding the results of Dolce Vita, wholesale net sales decreased 4.9 percent compared to the prior year period. Retail net sales were 48.7 million dollars compared to 48.9 million dollars in the third quarter of the prior year. The decrease in net sales was due to a same store sales decrease of 7.4 percent, offset by an increase in net sales resulting from the net opening of 11 new stores since the end of the third quarter last year.

During the third quarter, the company opened four outlet stores and acquired the Dolce Vita Internet store. The company also acquired, through a 50.1 percent interest in its South African joint venture, four Steve Madden stores in South Africa. Including the stores in South Africa, the company ended the quarter with 133 company-operated retail locations, including 28 outlets and four internet stores.

Factoring in the recent acquisition of Dolce Vita and current expectations for the remainder of the year, for fiscal year 2014, the company expects that net sales will increase 1percent to 2percent over net sales in 2013. Diluted EPS for fiscal year 2014 is expected to be in the range of 1.81 dollars to 1.86 dollars.

REPORT_ Hanesbrands announced strong third-quarter financial results driven by acquisition benefits, innovation, and enhanced profitability from global supply chain efficiency gains. The company raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance forthe third time this year based on quarterly results. For the third quarter ended September 27, 2014, net sales increased 17 percent to 1.40 billion dollars.

“Our business continues to perform very well, particularly in an uncertain consumer environment,” Hanes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Noll said, adding, “We have delivered more earnings in the first three quarters of 2014 than we did all of last year. Our Innovate-to-Elevate strategy, global self-owned supply chain, and acquisitions continue to generate shareholder value and give us confidence in our potential for many years to come.”

Adjusted operating profit excluding actions increased 23 percent to 217 million dollars, and adjusted diluted EPS excluding actions increased 41 percent to 1.73 dollars. On a GAAP basis, operating profit declined 13 percent to 154 million dollars, and diluted EPS decreased 6 percent to 1.16 dollars.

The company’s updated 2014 full-year financial guidance includes an increase in expected adjusted EPS to a range of 5.55 dollars to 5.65 dollars, up from a previous guidance of 5.40 dollars to 5.60 dollars. The company continues to expect net sales of approximately 5.350 billion dollars to 5.375 billion dollars.

Net sales increased for each business segment. Maidenform contributed 115 million dollars in the third quarter, and DBApparel contributed 81 million dollars. Excluding the acquisition contributions, net sales on a constant currency basis increased 1 percent versus the year-ago quarter. Strong global supply chain performance and Innovate-to-Elevate drove a 100-basis-point improvement in adjusted operating profit margin year-over-year in the third quarter, excluding DBApparel. Overall, including DBA, adjusted operating margin increased 70 basis points.

Hanes completed the integration of Maidenform within one year of the acquisition closing. From here on, Maidenform brand results will be part of the company’s core business in its innerwear, international and direct to consumer segments. Hanes closed on the acquisition of DBApparel, a leading marketer of intimate apparel and underwear in Europe, from Sun Capital Partners, on August 29, 2014. The company expects the acquisition and synergies to add approximately one dollar of annual adjusted EPS within three to four years.

Innerwear net sales increased 16 percent in the third quarter as a result of the Maidenform acquisition, while the company’s base business was up slightly compared with a year ago. Operating profit increased 29 percent on acquisition benefits and increased base-business profitability. Activewear sales increased 5 percent, while operating profit declined one percent versus a strong year-ago third quarter.

The acquisitions of Maidenform and DBApparel contributed to international sales growth of 63 percent and operating profit growth of 74 percent in the third quarter, while foreign exchange rates on currency continued to have a negative impact on both measures. On a constant-currency basis, base international net sales decreased 3 percent in the quarter and operating profit decreased one percent. Net sales for the Direct to Consumer segment increased 13 percent and operating profit increased 6 percent in the third quarter, with the acquisition of Maidenform contributing to both comparisons versus the year-ago quarter.

Based on third-quarter results, Hanes has increased its 2014 outlook for full-year adjusted EPS and other financial measures. The company’s previous guidance for the 53-week year was updated September 3, 2014, at the time the DBApparel acquisition completion was announced. Hanes’ guidance range for net sales remains approximately 5.350 billion dollars to 5.375 billion dollars. The company has increased guidance for adjusted operating profit to a range of 750 million dollars to 770 million dollars, up from the previous guidance range of 735 million dollars to 755 million dollars. The new full-year guidance implies fourth-quarter guidance of approximately 1.55 billion dollars to 1.57 billion dollars in net sales; a range of 187 million dollars to 207 million dollars for adjusted operating profit; and a range of approximately 1.35 dollars to 1.45 dollars for adjusted EPS.

REPORT_ Ralph Lauren Corporation reported net income of 201 million dollars, or 2.25 dollars per diluted share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2015, compared to net income of 205 million dollars, or 2.23 dollars per diluted share, for thesecond quarter of fiscal 2014. Net revenues for the second quarter increased 4 percent to 2 billion dollars led by retail segment expansion, including double-digit international growth.

“It’s been an incredibly active and exciting last few months for our company,” said Ralph Lauren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, adding, “We achieved several critical goals, including the launch of Polo for women, the opening of our first Polo flagship store on Fifth Avenue, and our first dual-gender Ralph Lauren flagship in Greater China. These milestones showcase the strength and scope of our luxury positioning and represent some of our most compelling opportunities.”

Wholesale segment sales were 943 million dollars, 2 percent above the prior year period, reflecting growth in all geographic regions. Retail sales rose 7 percent to 1 billion dollars in the second quarter, led by double-digit growth internationally and for global e-commerce operations. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 1 percent on both a reported and constant currency basis during the second quarter. Licensing revenues of 45 million dollars in the second quarter were 2 percent above the prior year period, reflecting higher royalties from increased sales of Ralph Lauren products.

Gross profit for the second quarter improved 4 percent to 1.1 billion dollars. Gross profit margin of 56.8 percent was 20 basis points above the prior year period, primarily due to favorable channel and geographic mix. The company ended the second quarter with 448 directly operated stores, comprised of 143 Ralph Lauren stores, 62 Club Monaco stores and 243 Polo factory stores. The company also operated 494 concession shop locations worldwide at the end of the second quarter. In addition, international licensing partners operated 65 Ralph Lauren stores and 20 dedicated shops, as well as 110 Club Monaco stores and shops at the end of the second quarter.

The company is maintaining its constant dollar outlook for fiscal 2015. However, as a result of recent, unfavorable foreign currency movements, the company now expects consolidated net revenues for fiscal 2015 to increase by 5 percent to 7percent compared to its previous outlook of 6 percent to 8 percent growth. The fiscal 2015 operating margin is still estimated to be approximately 75-125 basis points below fiscal 2014’s level, likely at the mid-to-low end of that range due to incrementally negative foreign currency movements. In the third quarter, the company expects consolidated net revenues to increase by 3 percent-5 percent, including a 200 basis point net negative impact from foreign currency translation.