Women And Children First At Ralph

Don Hogsett, November 8, 2004

Helped by solid sales of women’s and childrenswear in its wholesale business, and stronger same-store sales in its stores, second quarter profits at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. jumped 48.9 percent, to $80.4 million from $54 million last year.

Sales at the designer’s business empire jumped 24.9 percent, to $883.7 million from $707.8 million a year ago.

Making the big difference at the top and bottom lines, the company started selling the women’s Lauren by Ralph Lauren line, as well childrenswear products, on its own through its large wholesale business, rather than licensing the name out as it has in the past.

While it grew wholesale numbers by bringing women’s and children’s inside, licensing revenues took a corresponding hit as royalty payments for those lines dried up, falling 16.6 percent, to $62.1 million from $74.5 million. Included in licensing fees are royalties paid by WestPoint Stevens on the Ralph Lauren Home program.

Bringing the women’s and children’s business in-house, wholesale sales at the company soared 49.5 percent, to $502.6 million from $336.1 million a year ago. Sales in its domestic and international retail stores grew 7.4 percent, to $319 million from $297.1 million a year ago. Same-store retail sales increased 3.7 percent.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.

Qtr. 10/2 (x000) a 2004 2003 % change
Sales $883,680 $707,777 24.9
Oper. Income (EBIT) 148,293 102,012 45.4
Net income 80,407* 54,010* 48.9
Per share (diluted) 0.78 0.54 44.4
Average gross margin 49.5% 49.5%
SG&A expenses 32.8% 35.1%
Six Months b
Sales 1,357,349 1,049,330 29.4
Oper. Income 191,767 128,980 48.7
Net income 93,810 59,065 58.8
Per share (diluted) 0.91 0.59 54.2
Average gross margin 50.4% 50.6%
SG&A expenses 37.5% 39.7%
a: Second quarter results include a restructuring charge of $897,000; a $3.1 million foreign currency gain, compared with a prior-year gain of $1.8 million; and miscellaneous expense of $71,000, compared with $1.6 million in miscellaneous income the preceding year.
b: Six month results include a $1.6 million restructuring charge; a $2.9 million foreign currency gain, compared with $4.1 million last year; and miscellaneous income of $1.4 million, compared with $3.5 million last year.

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