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Hugo Boss eyes China growth as it returns to profit

German fashion house Hugo Boss said it was focussed on driving a recovery of its business online and in China amid continuing uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic as it reported a return to profitability in the third quarter.

Hugo Boss reported quarterly revenue fell a currency-adjusted 24 per cent to 533 million euros ($621 million), missing average analyst forecasts for 553 million, while its operating profit of 15 million euros was slightly ahead of consensus.

The company said sales in Mainland China rose 27 per cent, while online sales jumped 66 per cent, as Hugo Boss launched e-commerce in 24 more markets in June and August.

In Europe, sales fell 21 per cent, even as demand rebounded from the coronavirus lockdowns in the second quarter in markets like Britain and France, as the collapse in tourism kept hurting its business.

Known for its smart men’s suits, Hugo Boss had already been shifting to selling more sports wear and casual styles before the coronavirus prompted fashion trends to move even more in that direction as people work from home.

It said sales of casualwear were only down by a mid single-digit percentage rate at its Hugo label targeting younger consumers.

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