Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coach 3Q Profit Soars 37%; Looks To Europe For Expansion

A return to their affordable luxury price points has paid off for Coach Inc., as increased demand in North America helped the company to a strong third quarter.

Earnings for the leather goods maker jumped 37% to $158 billion from $115 billion from the previous year, beating Wall Street estimates, according to Reuters. Sales for the quarter topped off at $831 million compared to $740 million in fiscal 2009, with E.P.S. totaling $0.50 compared to $0.36 a year ago. As a result, the company doubled its cash dividend to $0.60 per share annually, implemented a $1 billion stock repurchase program, and upped its China sales target by a year.

"Our growth demonstrates our ability to manage our business nimbly, while investing prudently for the future". says Lew Frankfort, Chairman and CEO of Coach Inc.

Part of that investing includes the company's expansion into Western Europe. Via an agreement with French department store group, Printemps, Coach will open at least 14 locations in Printemps stores throughout France over the next three years, the first being a 1700 sq.ft. shop in Paris this June.  

Coach also entered into an agreement in principle to create a joint venture with British retailer Hackett Limited to open Coach stores in the U.K., Spain, Portugal and Ireland. The first locations in the U.K. and Spain are expected to open in the next twelve months.

On Thursday, Coach will celebrate the grand opening of its brand new Shanghai flagship store. The flagship is located on tony Huai Hai Middle Road, which is enroute to becoming the Fifth Ave. of Shanghai, with luxury brands such as Cartier and Tiffany & Co. pitching a tent there.

Shares of Coach closed at $42.03 with a 15 cents gain.

(Disclosure: Haute Retail holds positions in Coach Inc.
Photo: Coach Flagship Store in Shaghai/WWD

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