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Hong Kong’s Global Brands Group Narrows First-Half Loss

All signs point to continued improvement in the second half of 2015 for Hong Kong-based Global Brands Group Holding Ltd., which on Tuesday said it had narrowed its first-half loss to $40 million from $53 million in the year-ago period.

CEO and Vice Chairman Bruce Rockowitz said in a statement that the company, which spun off from Li & Fung in July of last year, would continue to increase its geographical footprint and look for strategic opportunities to add to its existing platforms, through both licenses and acquisitions.

The consumer brands and licensing business said its turnover slipped 5 percent to $1.28 billion during the first half of 2015 because of the “discontinuation of certain underperforming businesses” last year and the weak Euro. It expects business to pick up in the second half due to the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons as well as the fact that some of its brands, such as Frye and Spyder, are more skewed towards fall and winter.

Operating costs, meanwhile, decreased by 3.2 percent to $449 million and total margin rose to 31.7 percent from 29.7 percent.

“Within Licensed Brands, the character and kids’ fashion areas continued to perform well. This strong performance comes as we leverage our unrivalled global platform and our position as one of the largest licensees of all major kids’ entertainment franchises,” said Dow Famulak, president and COO, adding, “On the Controlled Brands side we have added Jones New York to further strengthen our women’s fashion and apparel brands portfolio.”

“Consumer appetite for leading American affordable luxury brands remains strong, especially as consumers’ demand for these brands has been fueled by the widespread access to the online arena that makes these brands more popular than ever globally,” Rockowitz noted. “Looking ahead, we expect our leading businesses to continue to perform well and maintain the course of their growth trajectory.”