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Earnings Roundup: Supply Chain Shifts Boost Puma, Sales Up at Yoox, Urban Outfitters

When it’s deliver-or-die, supply chains become the lifeblood of a company. To that end, the fashion industry has embraced technology to navigate today’s hyper-complicated supply chain, with myriad solutions shaping the first, middle and last mile. Call it Sourcing 2.0.

Supply chain changes—and Rihanna—helped Puma see sales success in its fourth quarter, Yoox Net-A-Porter Group brought more brands to its sites, gaining customers along with them, and Urban Outfitters managed some sales growth in the quarter.

Puma

Thanks to Rihanna, Puma is increasing its profit outlook.

The athletic wear retailer said Thursday that its sales for the fourth quarter increased 10 percent to 958 million euro ($1.02 billion) with growth across all regions and product segments. For the full year, sales were up 10 percent to 3.63 billion euro ($3.87 billion). Net earnings jumped 68 percent to 62.4 million euro ($66.5 million) for the year over 2015.

Footwear drove the strongest growth for the brand with sales up 17.6 percent in the fourth quarter, while apparel showed only modest growth with sales up 3.7 percent. The company’s FENTY PUMA by Rihanna Creeper shoe sold out repeatedly worldwide, demonstrating, according to Puma, that it’s the “hottest piece of footwear around.”

“We have seen a continued increase of interest in our products and brand both from consumers and retailers. The sell-through of our new product launches has been good,” Puma CEO Bjørn Gulden said. “The year has confirmed, that our strategy has been right and we will continue to invest in our mission of becoming the Fastest Sports Brand in the World.”

When it comes to its supply chain, Puma said it has enhanced its organizational speed and business processes, and continuing these efforts will be at the center of its strategy moving forward. Puma said upgrades to its systems, processes and organizational speed in the last two years led to greater flexibility in its supply chain. The company has relocated employees closer to suppliers’ production and increased local-for-local production in countries like India and Mexico. Puma also moved into a new highly-automated warehouse in the U.S.

“This all will ensure faster lead times for key markets in line with our strategy of being Forever Faster,” the company noted.

Gulden said he’s confident Puma will see a significant increase in earnings again in 2017.

Urban Outfitters

Sales at Urban Outfitters just made it into growth territory. For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, 2017, net sales for the total company—which includes the Anthropologie, Bhldn, Free People, Terrain and Urban Outfitters brands—increased 2 percent to $1.03 billion. Comparable retail segment sales were flat in the quarter.

Urban Outfitters stores performed the best, with sales up 2 percent, but Anthropologie sales saw a less successful quarter with sales down 2.9 percent. The company said strong, double-digit growth in its direct-to-consumer channel drove retail sales, though the gains were tampered by lower retail store sales.

For the full year ended Jan. 31, 2017, net sales for the group increased 3 percent year over year to $3.5 billion. Urban Outfitters stores accounted for $1.41 billion of that total, Anthropologie $1.45 billion and Free People $663 million. Its food and beverage division, which includes in-store restaurants to improve the consumer experience, has grown 254 percent year over year. The company opened 29 new stores in the year and closed seven, bringing its total to 594.

Urban Outfitters will release its full fourth quarter earnings on March 7.

Yoox Net-A-Porter Group

The Yoox Net-A-Porter Group reached 2.9 million active customers last year, a 16 percent jump over 2015.

Reporting financials for the full year ended Dec. 31, the Italy-based online retailer said the number of orders on its site grew 18.2% to 8.4 million euro, though average transaction values fell slightly thanks to an “unfavorable” exchange rate. Net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2016 totaled 538.2 million ($573.8 million), a 19.2% increase over the prior year period.

The company’s multi-brand in-season business line, which includes Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter saw revenues up 17.6% to 263.4 million euro ($280.8 million). “This performance reflects the increasingly unique portfolio of the world’s most coveted and prestigious brands as well as highly effective marketing initiatives to the higher-value customer base, rolled-out full in the last quarter,” the company said in a statement.

Sales a Yoox Net-A-Porter Group’s multi-brand off-season business segment, which includes Yoox and The Outnet, increased 16.3% to 200.5 million euro ($213.8 million).

“Over the year, YOOX and THE OUTNET made significant headway in the enhancement of their brand offerings,” according to the company. “Specifically, YOOX added Burberry Children and, over the last quarter of the year, the shop-in-shop of Polo Ralph Lauren, as well as Disney’s first online fashion store for designer collaborations. THE OUTNET added Tom Ford, Fendi and Etro and expanded its private label offering with the introduction of Iris & Ink first footwear collection.”

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