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Photo Credit: Ralphlauren.co.uk

Ralph Lauren Corp. Reports Higher Q4 Results, Issues Mixed Outlook, and Announces New CFO

Luxury fashion house Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) reported higher fourth-quarter results on Thursday but issued a cautious outlook for the first quarter, anticipating increased margins but weak revenues. Additionally, the company announced a fiscal 2025 forecast and a higher dividend.

In pre-market activity on the NYSE, Ralph Lauren shares fell approximately 4.9 percent to trade at $156.13.

Ralph Lauren announced the appointment of Justin Picicci as Chief Financial Officer, effective May 23. Picicci, who has an 18-year track record at Ralph Lauren, most recently served as Enterprise Chief Financial Officer. He succeeds Jane Nielsen, who has been the CFO and Chief Operating Officer since 2019. Nielsen will continue as COO, overseeing key operational and strategic functions through March 2025.

The Board of Directors declared a 10 percent increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.825 per share, resulting in an annual dividend of $3.30 per share. The next quarterly dividend will be paid on July 12 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 28.

Looking ahead to the first quarter, Ralph Lauren expects its operating margin to expand approximately 60 to 80 basis points in constant currency and its gross margin to expand around 140 to 180 basis points. The company anticipates that revenues will be slightly down compared to the prior year on a reported basis due to negative foreign currency impacts, but slightly up on a constant currency basis.

For fiscal 2025, Ralph Lauren forecasts an operating margin expansion of approximately 100 to 120 basis points and a gross margin increase of about 50 to 100 basis points, both in constant currency. Annual revenues are expected to increase by low single digits compared to last year, centering on about 2 percent to 3 percent. However, foreign currency is expected to negatively impact revenue growth by approximately 90 basis points in fiscal 2025.

In the fourth quarter, Ralph Lauren’s earnings increased from last year and exceeded Street estimates. The company’s net income was $90.7 million, or $1.38 per share, compared to $32.3 million, or $0.48 per share, in the prior year. Adjusted earnings were $111.8 million, or $1.71 per share, up from last year’s $61 million, or $0.90 per share. Analysts had expected the company to earn $1.66 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters, which typically exclude special items.

Revenue for the quarter rose 1.9 percent to $1.57 billion from $1.54 billion last year, reflecting the company’s strong performance despite challenging market conditions.

The mixed outlook for the first quarter and fiscal 2025, coupled with the announcement of a new CFO and increased dividend, reflect Ralph Lauren’s efforts to balance growth and financial stability amid ongoing market uncertainties.

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