Global Brands Group proves its ‘resilience’

Global Brands Group, the Hong Kong-based branded apparel, footwear, fashion accessories and lifestyle product company, has boosted profits by 11.9 per cent in its second full trading year.

“The financial performance we achieved for 2015 despite a challenging market environment is a testament to the resilience of our business model and the strength of our brand portfolio,” said CEO and vice chairman Bruce Rockowitz.

“Our focused strategy of partnering with leading brand owners to take American affordable luxury power brands global by leveraging our strong retail, distribution and product design platform is delivering tangible results in terms of both margin and profitability. Last year saw us successfully capitalise on a number of strategic growth opportunities, both organic and through selective acquisitions, which set the stage for the positive performance of Global Brands in the coming financial year.”

Despite impacts from a decrease in the euro exchange rate, an unseasonably warm winter in North America and the tail end effect of the group’s exit from certain underperforming brands turnover held up at US$3.423 billion, only slightly below the previous year’s $3.454 billion.

Total margin for the 12 months continued to trend up strongly, reaching $1.17 billion. Total margin grew as a percentage of turnover to 34.2 per cent in 2015 from 33.9 per cent in 2011, hitting the group’s three-year target one full year in advance.

Core operating profit increased by 10.5 per cent, while net profit for the period was up 11.9 per cent on the previous year.

Rockowitz said the company was witnessing “increasing consumer appetite for affordable luxury brands”, particularly in Asia but also in other parts of the world.

“This demand is being fuelled by the growing middle class with rising disposable incomes and the widespread use of internet, mobile and eCommerce technologies which are making brands more easily accessible to consumers globally.

“All of these trends are extremely beneficial for our business. Going forward, we see many exciting opportunities for our Licensed and Controlled Brands segments and a strong pipeline of licensing deals to drive the continued growth of Global Brands,” said Rockowitz.

“We continue to invest in and strengthen our Licensed and Controlled Brands platforms,” added Dow Famulak, president and COO.

“Within Licensed Brands, our entertainment characters business performed especially well due to our long-established partnerships with major character franchises globally.

“Our key footwear brands also performed well, and we added considerably to our accessories portfolio with a number of new brands. On the Controlled Brands side, we made excellent progress in growing our brands, most notably Frye, Spyder and Juicy Couture, and expanding their direct reach to consumers,” said Famulak.

“We also strengthened our women’s fashion and apparel offering and built out a denim platform to strategically position the group to capitalise on consumer demand in these areas. Another highlight was our exciting Seven Global and Kent & Curwen partnership which extends the David Beckham brand to the menswear product category.”

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