Jul 30, 2009
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Hugo Boss keeps 2009 outlook after weak second quarter

Jul 30, 2009

FRANKFURT, July 30 (Reuters) - Lower spending on extravagant suits and dresses led to a wider second-quarter operating loss at Hugo Boss (BOSG_p.DE) but the German fashion house kept its outlook in place.

Hugo Boss spring-summer 2010 - Photo: PixelFormula

Hugo Boss said on Thursday 30 July second-quarter loss before interest and tax (EBIT) widened to 15.6 million euros ($21.99 million) from 2.2 million in the same period last year. Sales fell 5.4 percent to 303.9 million euros.

For the full-year, Hugo Boss said it still sees sales falling, while underlying profitability is expected to increase thanks to restructuring measures already implemented.

"Due to the extremely weak overall global economic situation, Hugo Boss expects a declining development in sales in fiscal 2009," Hugo Boss said, adding it expects positive business developments again in 2010 when the economic situation improves.

It said it was examining potential acquisitions for their value-enhancing potential.

Shares in Hugo Boss were down 1 percent at 18.46 euros by 0819 GMT, underperforming a 0.4 percent drop in Germany's mid-cap index .MDAXI.

Hugo Boss, in which private equity group Permira [PERM.UL] holds 88 percent of the voting rights, trades at a discount to Italian shoemaker Geox (GEO.MI) and U.S. fashion company Polo Ralph Lauren Corp (RL.N).

Analysts point to Hugo Boss' debt load as well as to increased uncertainty about the future developments at parent company Valentino Fashion Group.

Media reports had said last month that Permira was close to completing talks with lenders to Valentino about renegotiating its 2.5 billion euro of debt.

(Reporting by Eva Kuehnen)

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