Michael Kors profit lifts with help from Europe

today Aug 6, 2013
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Michael Kors Holdings Ltd's quarterly profit nearly doubled as the fashion company's sales were helped by the roll-out of shops within department stores and gains in Europe.

Kors shares were up 6.1 percent to $72 in premarket trading.

Fashion designer Michael Kors' namesake company has stolen market share from Coach with affordable, so-called jet-set lifestyle offerings and the designer's high visibility as a judge on the first 10 seasons of the television fashion show "Project Runway."

In Kors' fiscal first quarter, ended June 29, revenue rose 54 percent to $640.9 million, well above the average Wall Street estimate of $570.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Comparable store sales - sales at stores open at least 12 months - rose 27.3 percent.

In North America, which generates 86 percent of the company's business, comparable sales were up 25 percent, compared with a 1.7 percent drop for Coach, a much more established brand.

Kors' sales growth was even more pronounced in its wholesale business, which serves chains such as Macy's Inc and Nordstrom Inc, helped by the continued rollout of more elaborate shops-in-shops. Wholesale net sales rose 59.3 percent.

In Europe, still a relatively new market for the company, sales more than doubled.

Kors, whose ads tout a jet-set lifestyle featuring women in exotic locals with handbags bearing its trademark MK logo, expects comparable sales to be up 15 percent to 20 percent in the current quarter.

Despite the stronger-than-expected sales, Kors' full-year sales forecast of $2.8 billion to $2.9 billion was in line with Wall Street projections for $2.84 billion.

First-quarter net income rose to $125 million, or 61 cents per share, from $68.6 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier. That was 12 cents better than expected.

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