Urban Outfitters racks up 2.8 billion dollars in sales for 2012
Urban Outfitters Inc. reported increased sales across all brands for its 2012 fiscal year ended January 31. The eponymous brand earned 1.32 billion dollars, up +14% compared to the previous year. Anthropologie rose 7% to 1.12 billion dollars and Free People was up 28% to 320 million dollars. The group’s other products earned 31 million dollars.
Direct-to-consumer or e-commerce grew 31% in 2012 compared to 2011, which will be the focus of the group's growth strategy for Europe. Overall, the group posted sales of over 2.8 billion dollars, up 13%, and a surge last quarter of 17% or 857 million dollars.
Regarding operating income, the jump was even more impressive. The group recorded an increase of 31% to 374 million dollars, its operating margin thus growing from 11.5% to 13.4%. Its net result grew 28% to 237 million dollars.
Business was mainly driven by the company’s retail stores, which brought in 1.98 billion dollars (+8%). Direct-to-consumer (e-commerce) rose 31% to 663 million dollars and wholesale to 148 million dollars (+12%), mainly through Free People.
Urban Outfitters Inc. has 215 Urban Outfitters stores and 180 Anthropologie stores in the world, the two brands the group has already established in Europe. However, during the results conference call the group’s CEO Richard Hanye said that “headwinds in Europe are still strong. We are continuing to invest there. There are parts of Europe where it is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to penetrate in terms of bricks and mortar. But we do believe that we can make significant headwinds in those areas through direct-to-consumer.”
Urban Outfitters will thus likely remain cautious about the development of its European store landscape, using e-commerce to bolster its bricks-and-mortar business, which consists of 25 stores in the U.K. and 11 stores in Belgium, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden.
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