Strong sales despite store closures for fashion group I.T

Improved consumer sentiment across Greater China and strong sales growth in Hong Kong helped boost third-quarter business for Hong Kong multi-brand fashion group I.T Limited.

With fewer discounts offered, the group also enhanced its gross margin for the three months to the end of November.

However, store closures continued in Hong Kong in the face of a persistent upsurge in running costs, causing downward pressure on sales.

I.T Group operates its own brands, including Chocolate and 5cm, concept stores Izzue and Double-Park; international brands it has local licences for including Kurt Geiger and Camper; and A Bathing Ape, which the company rescued from Japanese owners in 2011.

While comparable-store sales growth in Hong Kong and Macau rose 2.4 per cent for the quarter, there was a 3.9 per cent dip for the first nine months.

For Japan and the US, sales growth soared by 25.5 per cent for the quarter and 30.7 per cent for the nine months, while for China the growth was 1.5 and 1.1 per cent respectively.

Gross profit margin for the quarter was up 1.6 points to 62.9 per cent in Hong Kong and Macau, edging up 0.8 points to 60.9 per cent for the nine months.

For Japan and the US, the margin fell 0.8 points to 68.9 per cent, and eased 0.1 points to 70.8 per cent for the nine months, while in Mainland China it edged up 0.3 points to 64.8 per cent for the quarter, and rose 2.1 points to 62.8 per cent for the nine months.

For the group overall, the rise was 1 point to 64.9 per cent for the quarter, and 1.6 points to 63.4 per cent for the nine months.

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