Hugo Boss Dresses Down as Pandemic Spurs Casual Trend

German fashion house Hugo Boss said on Tuesday it was focused on driving a recovery of its business online and in China and tapping into the trend for more casual fashion that has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

We have a lot more to offer than the classical suit, acting Chief Executive Yves Mueller told journalists, noting that customers were increasingly mixing formal and casual items, such as wearing a suit jacket with a Tshirt and sneakers.

After slumping to a loss in the second quarter, Hugo Boss swung back to a thirdquarter operating profit of 15 million euros 17.52 million. That was slightly ahead of average analyst forecasts, even though revenue fell by a currencyadjusted 24 to 533 million euros, missing a consensus for 553 million.

Mueller said casualwear is more profitable than the companys core business of selling smart mens suits.

Hugo Boss shares were the biggest gainer on the German midcap index, rising 6.35 by 0935 GMT.

Online sales jumped 66 in the third quarter, as Hugo Boss launched ecommerce in 24 more markets, with another 12 countries to be added in 2021. Mueller said the company was on track to meet its target for 400 million euros of online sales by 2024.

He declined to give a fullyear outlook as parts of Europe close stores again during new lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus. However, he was upbeat about ecommerce and China, where he said business was excellent in October.

Thirdquarter sales in mainland China rose…

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