Urban Outfitters Makes Comeback Across Portfolio

Urban Outfitters Inc. is making a comeback across all of its brands. 

The retailer — which counts Urban Outfitters, the Anthropologie Group, Free People, Terrain and Bhldn among its brands, in addition to rental subscription service Nuuly and a food and beverage business under the greater company umbrella — revealed quarterly earnings results Tuesday afternoon, improving on both top and bottom lines, compared with both the pandemic year and 2019’s pre-pandemic first quarter. Company shares shot up nearly 7 percent in after-hours trading as a result. 

“The first quarter was one for the record books: record sales, a record low markdown rate and record earnings per share,” Richard A. Hayne, chief executive officer of Urban Outfitters Inc., said in a statement. “Strong ‘comps’ were driven by powerful demand and superb execution by all teams. In May, sales trends have accelerated further, which we believe bodes well for second-quarter results.”

In fact, total company revenues for the three-month period ending April 30, increased 7.3 percent to $927 million, up from more than $864 million during 2019’s pre-pandemic first quarter, or $588 million a year ago. 

Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People all made gains, compared with 2020’s pandemic year. But revenues increased at Urban Outfitters and Free People, compared with 2019: nearly $350 million at Urban in the most recent quarter, compared with approximately $317 million two years ago, and roughly $213 million at Free People, compared with $186 million during the same time frame. Anthropologie logged $353 million during the most recent quarter, compared with nearly $355 million in 2019, but up from $234 million last year. Sales at Nuuly, which launched in July of 2019, were more than $7.8 million, compared with $6.2 million a year ago. 

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Comparable retail segment net sales also increased, up 10 percent, compared with 2019, thanks to strong double-digit growth in digital. By brand, comparable retail segment net sales rose 44 percent at Free People, 9 percent at Urban Outfitters and 1 percent at Anthropologie, during the same time period. In addition, total retail segment net sales increased 10 percent. 

The gains helped offset sales declines at brick-and-mortar retail during the quarter because of temporary store closures and occupancy restrictions in Europe and Canada. In addition, the wholesale segment decreased 24 percent during the quarter to $62 million, compared with nearly $82 million in 2019. 

Still, Urban Outfitters managed to log a profit of $53.5 million, up from $32.5 million pre-pandemic or a loss of more than $138 million a year ago. 

The retailer ended the quarter with 642 stores across North America and Europe, or 251 Urban Outfitters, 238 Anthropologie and 153 Free People locations. The company also ended the quarter with more than $364 million in cash and cash equivalents. 

Company shares, which closed up 0.69 percent Tuesday to $34.96 a piece, are up 95 percent, year-over-year.

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