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E-commerce drives Urban Outfitters growth

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today Nov 22, 2012
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"The best third quarter in the company's history." That is how Urban Outfitters management summed up its financial results for its Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN brands for the three-month period ended October 31.

Compared to the same period a year earlier, net sales for the group jumped 14% to $693 million USD (542 million euros). Urban Outfitters, which operates 209 stores worldwide, brought in $332 million alone, an increase of 14%.

Urban Outfitters is happy about its financial results for e-commerce menswear sales in Europe (photo: Urban Outfitters)

Anthropology came in second place, racking up sales of $267 million (+9%), followed by Free People with $87 million (+24%). Sales from the group's other brands totaled less than $7 million (42%).

New store openings and especially e-commerce were the primary reason for this bright season. The company has opened 39 stores since the beginning of the year and is planning to close or relocate any units not compatible with its business model.

Regarding e-commerce, the company’s "direct to consumer" business increasing 36% compared to the same period last year. The company also showed strong growth in Europe where it took advantage of the profitable option to combine its menswear lines with local brands (Eleven Paris, Libertine Libertine, Fred Perry). It has also just launched a free shipping trial phase. In Europe, the Group has nine stores on the continent, twenty-four in the UK and two in Ireland.

Group sales increased by 8% for the same comparable period, including e-commerce, whereas store sales showed a decrease of 1%. Wholesale business sales clocked in at $41 million, an increase of 7%. The group is also happy about a better gross margin due to improved marketing management. The company's operating income reached $93.5 million (+27%) and net income rose by 18% to $60 million.

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