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14 Aug

Ralph Lauren Tops Q1 Earnings Estimates

Ralph Lauren Tops Q1 Earnings Estimates

Updated Aug. 10, 11:50 a.m.

While Tapestry Inc. guarantees to alter the face of the American fashion landscape with its $8.5 billion deal to purchase Capri Holdings, Ralph Lauren Corp. has already modified — and likes its position very much.

Just because the market was digesting news of the mega takeover, Ralph Lauren weighed in with first-quarter results that showed the corporate was continuing its long quest to raise its image and to boost prices. The corporate raised its average unit retail prices 15 percent across its direct-to-consumer network, on top of an 8 percent gain a yr ago.

That higher-end focus and strength in Europe and Asia helped the corporate blunt the impact of weakness in its home market and topped earnings estimates for the quarter. 

“In the event you step back big time, we actually reset the foundations of our brand,” said Patrice Louvet, president and chief executive officer, in an interview with WWD. “This isn’t only one quarter or two, that is years of labor to actually deliberately elevate every facet of the buyer experience. We remain on offense.”

With a way of life positioning, the brand has a broad enough base to quickly catch market trends. As an illustration, the CEO said it was “sophisticated casual” looks which might be selling now, from Oxford shirts to dresses. “Where there may be more pressure is on sort of the ‘COVID[-19]’ categories, if I can call them that, think T-shirts, fleece and shorts.”

The purpose is, Ralph Lauren has each and could be where the  market goes, or catch up quick.

“We now have in-built flexibility since the environment stays dynamic,” Louvet said. “The word for us is…resilient.”

And the changes available in the market promise to maintain coming fast — witness the Tapestry-Capri deal.

“It’s an interesting move,” Louvet said when asked concerning the acquisition. “As with all these moves and with every thing in our industry, it’s ultimately all about execution.”

Louvet said there was not tons of direct competition between Ralph Lauren and the Tapestry and Capri brands, which include Coach, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman, Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo.  

Those brands are more focused on handbags and shoes whereas Ralph Lauren is heavier in apparel.

“We now have limited overlap with this recent combination of brands,” Louvet said. “Limited overlap each from a category standpoint and from a price tier standpoint.”

For the primary quarter, Ralph Lauren’s net income increased 7 percent to $132.1 million, or $1.96 a diluted share, from $123.4 million, or $1.73 a yr earlier.  Adjusted earnings per share, which exclude restructuring-related charges, got here in at $2.34 — 20 cents higher than the $2.14 analysts projected, in response to FactSet. 

Revenues for the three months ended July 1 inched as much as $1.5 billion from $1.49 billion a yr earlier, a rise of 1 percent in constant currencies that was led by Europe and Asia. Analysts were expecting a slight decline in sales. 

Still, the corporate’s push to raise its brand hasn’t insulated it from the economy and the brand still has a more value oriented customer partly of its business that’s feeling the pinch of inflation.

Revenues in North America fell 10 percent to $632 million, with about half of that coming from a shift of spring receipts into the fourth quarter of last yr as the corporate normalized its timing post pandemic. 

The corporate’s own comparable store sales in North America fell 6 percent, including an 8 percent drop in digital commerce and a 5 percent decrease in brick-and-mortar doors. 

Wholesale sales available in the market fell 16 percent and would have been down by midsingle digits without the timing shift. 

“We’re working with our wholesale partners to activate traffic and conversion and, throughout the outlet channel it’s a mixture of really shaping our product offering and assortment in a way that’s really going to resonate with the shopper,” Louvet said. 

Revenues in Europe rose 8 percent to $450 million while Asia increased 13 percent to $378 million. 

Ralph Lauren, executive chairman and chief creative officer, added: “What we do is concerning the connection between the fantastic thing about an authentic life and the elegance of timeless style. This underlies every thing we create at our company — from our elevated presentation at Wimbledon and in our recent Miami Design District store to our beautiful California Dreaming events across Europe and Asia — as we encourage people all over the world to step into their dreams.”

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