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Hugo Boss expects strong growth in Asia and online

A model walks the runway at the Hugo Boss fashion show during Ciputra World Fashion Week in Surabaya, Indonesia.
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German fashion house Hugo Boss said it expected its operating profit to rise faster than sales in 2019, predicting strong momentum in its online business and Asia.

Known for its smart men's suits, Hugo Boss has introduced more casual and sportswear styles to appeal to a younger audience and invested heavily in its online offer after a bid to go upmarket backfired a few years ago.

The company said it expected a high single-digit percentage increase in operating profit for 2019 and a mid single-digit percentage rise in currency-adjusted sales.

"We are ensuring profitable growth in 2019 and beyond. Strong momentum in our own online business and in Asia will make a significant contribution this year, Chief Executive Mark Langer said in a statement.

Investors are worried about slowing demand for luxury goods as the economy stalls in China, but Hugo Boss forecast "overproportionate growth" in the Asia-Pacific region.

The company said it expected strong double-digit growth to continue in its online business, after it reached sales of more than 100 million euros in 2018 for the first time.

British rival Burberry reported a 1 percent rise in same-store sales in the 13 weeks ending Dec. 29, missing a 2 percent growth forecast.

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