Abercrombie & Fitch posts ‘extraordinary’ quarter as transformation pays off

(Source: Abercrombie & Fitch/Facebook)

Abercrombie & Fitch has posted its best first-quarter sales in its history with double-digit year-on-year growth, largely thanks to the company’s transformation strategy.

Net sales for the three months ended May 4 surged 22 per cent to $1 billion, with comparable sales up 21 per cent.

With the “extraordinary results”, the company is currently one of the best performers in the retail market, commented Neil Saunders, MD of GlobalData. The analyst attributed this to the years of hard work to reengineer the brand and to connect with modern consumers.

“Enacting a 180-degree turn is extremely difficult at the best of times, but to deliver this against the backdrop of first a pandemic and then a period of economic disruption is a testament to the focus and skill of management and all working in the business,” he said.

Sales in the Americas grew 23 per cent to $820 million, while EMEA sales increased 19 per cent to $165 million. Sales in Apac were up 10 per cent to $36 million. Comparable sales for all three regions rose by more than 20 per cent.

At Abercrombie, sales increased by 31.1 per cent in total and by 29 per cent in comparable terms. The strong growth was due to both existing customers spending more and by new customers rediscovering the brand, according to Saunders.

Hollister sales grew 12.3 per cent, which the analyst described as pleasing and shows that the brand has runway to make a strong contribution in the year ahead.

Net income for the quarter was $115 million, representing 11.3 per cent year on year.

The company has raised its outlook for this year, with net sales expected to be up about 10 per cent and Americas continuing to lead the regional performance. 

“The changes made are deep-rooted and will deliver success for the longer term. They also provide a springboard for future initiatives, including more international expansion,” Saunders concluded.

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