Hollister sales helped drive a strong fourth quarter for parent Abercrombie & Fitch in both revenue and profit.
In the past year, Hollister sales broke the US$2 billion sales threshold for the first time, rising 19 per cent in the final quarter to February 3, to $709.2 million.
All of the Abercrombie & Fitch brands posted increased sales in the quarter, as did all geographical markets.
Net sales were $1.193 billion, up 15 per cent for the quarter, which included an extra week. The company said the additional week benefited fourth-quarter net sales by approximately 4 per cent.
Comparable sales rose 9 per cent and comparable operating income doubled, according to CEO Fran Horowitz.
“We are pleased by our performance. Our focus on staying close to our customer, executing to our playbook and maintaining our disciplined approach to expense management delivered a strong performance on both the top and bottom line,” she said.
The company’s main brand, Abercrombie, returned to positive sales for the quarter after a series of declines, in part reflecting the success of a new store format now being rolled out across the US and in selected international markets, including Hong Kong. Global sales rose 9 per cent.
The company also recorded record digital sales across all brands.
“We continue to improve the customer experience with ongoing investments in loyalty programs, stores, direct-to-consumer and omnichannel capabilities,” said Horowitz.
“We have a strong balance sheet, proven cost management discipline and a clear plan for building on the foundations we laid last year. This year, we will continue to focus our attention and our investments on engaging our customers with compelling assortments and new experiences, in clearly defined brand voices, positioning our business for sustainable long-term growth.”
US sales rose 13 per cent and international sales by 20 per cent,with direct-to-consumer sales accounting for 34 per cent of total company sales, up from 31 per cent in the same period last year.