Ralph Lauren Tops Profit Estimates as Its Consumers Continue to Spend

Ralph Lauren Corp. turned in much stronger than expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and is looking to keep that momentum up in what remains a tricky retail landscape.

“We continue to be on offense as we balance growth and operating discipline, investing in our brand while delivering strong shareholder returns,” said Patrice Louvet, president and chief executive officer.

The company said fourth quarter net income rose 32 percent to $32.2 million, or 48 cents a share, up from $24.4 million, or 34 cents, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings per share of 90 cents came in 30 cents ahead of the 60 cents analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Revenues for the three months ended April 1 increased 1.2 percent to $1.54 billion from $1.52 billion, a 9 percent boost in constant currencies.

“Looking ahead, our growth and value creation will continue to be supported by the strength of our brand and multiple growth engines — from recruiting new high-value consumers and driving our timeless core products and high-potential product categories to targeted geographic and channel expansion,” Louvet said.

The CEO’s strategic plan has had the company on a campaign to elevate its brand, drive its core business and build in key cities, an effort illustrated by recent store openings in Sydney, Miami and Shenzhen.

Ralph Lauren, executive chairman and chief creative officer, said: “As I reflect on the past year, I am inspired by how our teams around the world brought the magic of our timeless vision to life. From our California Dreaming show to sponsoring some of the most iconic moments in sports — it’s their passion and optimism that inspire people to step into their dreams.”

Clearly, the dream at Ralph Lauren is steadily getting bigger.

But it is also operating in what is a very uncertain economy and complicated retail picture around the world.

For the first quarter, the company is looking for revenues to be flat to up slightly, building later on to a full-year increase in the low single digits.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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