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Ralph Lauren continues momentum in Asia

Premium lifestyle brand Ralph Lauren increased gross profit across its third quarter period by 6 per cent to  $1.46 billion (US$1.05 billion), compared to $1.37 billion (US$996 million) the year prior.

The growth was driven by a 90 bps increase in gross margin to 61.6 per cent, as a result of reduced promotional activity and improved pricing.

“Solid execution on our key initiatives, especially during the important holiday period, delivered better-than-expected results for the third quarter as we drove higher average unit retail and continued to improve quality of sales overall,” Ralph Lauren president and chief executive Patrice Louvet said.

“These results give us confidence that our strategic investments in brand-building, product, digital, and global expansion are on the right track, while the strength of our balance sheet will continue to be a competitive advantage as we manage through an increasingly volatile global environment.”

The business saw momentum in Asia continue, with 11 per cent revenue growth to $379.65 million (US$275 million) led by 19 per cent constant currency growth in Greater China, and strength across Japan, South Korea and Australia.

North American sales increased by 3 per cent to $1.25 billion (US$909 million), and enjoyed flat comparable bricks-and-mortar sales and a 21 per cent increase in digital sales for the region.

Global revenue for the brand’s digital offering improved 20 per cent over the last year, with growth in the brand’s directly-operated digital flagships exceeding expectations.

Net income for the period grew to $165.67 million (US$120 million), or $2.04 per diluted share (US$1.48).

Looking toward the final quarter of fiscal 2019, Ralph Lauren expects net revenue to drop slightly due to a planned reduction in off-price sales, though predicts net revenue for the fiscal year will be up slightly, though didn’t provide concrete figures.

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