Just days after the group launched its first ever gender-neutral range of children’s clothes, A&F now expects comparable sales in the final quarter to grow by high-single digits, against low-single digits forecast previously.
A 53rd week in the trading year and currency changes will mean net sales will now show a low-teen percentage gain, again better than predicted before, though the increased sales volumes will mean expenses will rise slightly from last year’s $553.7mln.
Gross margins will be in line with the previous guidance, though US tax changes will mean a significant income tax charge.
Fran Horowitz, chief executive, said: "We are pleased by our performance across all brands and channels during the holiday season, with continued strength at Hollister, and the Abercrombie brand on track to deliver positive comparable sales for the quarter.”
Executive chairman Arthur Martinez also announced he will step down at the end of this fiscal year, February 3.
Martinez joined the board in January 2014 and took over as executive chairman in December of that year when A&F was struggling badly.
Fran Horowitz, though was appointed as chief executive last year and Martinez said he was proud of the progress the company was making under Horowitz’s leadership.
Terry Burman, lead independent director, will become non-executive chairman when Martinez steps down.