Ralph Lauren's Profit Shrinks -- WSJ

Date : 05/15/2019 @ 8:02AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL)
Quote : 111.59  2.2 (2.01%) @ 4:12PM

Ralph Lauren's Profit Shrinks -- WSJ

Ralph Lauren Polo (NYSE:RL)
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Sales to department stores decline as company pulls back from discount chains

By Suzanne Kapner and Kimberly Chin 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (May 15, 2019).

Ralph Lauren Corp.'s profit and sales fell in the most recent quarter, dragged down by declines in North America and a higher tax expense.

The company's stock fell 3.7% to $113.95 even though Ralph Lauren increased its quarterly dividend by 10%.

"We believe our strategy is working and our plan is on track," Ralph Lauren Chief Executive Patrice Louvet told analysts on a conference call.

He noted that for the full fiscal year the company surpassed many targets in its strategic plan, including revenue and profit growth.

Mr. Louvet pointed to progress in winning over younger consumers and focusing on more full-priced sales as signs the company was on track. But he added it needed to do a better job attracting shoppers to its retail stores.

Net revenue for the period that ended March 30 fell 1.5% to $1.51 billion from the year prior, reversing three previous quarters of growth.

Profit for the period was down 23% to $31.6 million, or 39 cents a share, compared with $41.3 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier.

In North America, revenue fell 7% to $708 million. Wholesale revenue to third parties such as department stores fell 10%, in part due to a planned reduction to off-price sellers such as T.J. Maxx.

Sales excluding newly opened or closed locations at the company's North American retail stores fell 4%, including a 7% decline at bricks-and-mortar locations. Digital sales grew 6%. Asia and Europe performed better, with revenue up 6% and 4%, respectively, in the period.

The company has invigorated core products such as its Polo shirt, which it said performed strongly in the period.

But other areas still need work, such as its moderately priced Lauren line sold in department stores.

Mr. Louvet said the brand needs to focus more on core categories such as denim and dresses and have a better balance of fashion and basics. In recent seasons, the line had too much fashion, he said. There is a new design team in place for the line, and the company is also renovating its Lauren shops in department stores.

Write to Suzanne Kapner at Suzanne.Kapner@wsj.com and Kimberly Chin at kimberly.chin@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 15, 2019 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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