Annual Report 2021

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Focus in 2022 on successful execution of “CLAIM 5” growth strategy

Group sales expected to increase to a record level of between EUR 3.1 billion and EUR 3.2 billion in 2022

EBIT to increase within a range of +10% to +25% to an amount between EUR 250 million and EUR 285 million in 2022

Subsequent events

To further advance the innovative strength and sustainability of its brands, HUGO BOSS entered into a long-term, strategic partnership with HeiQ AeoniQ LLC – a fully owned subsidiary of Swiss innovator HeiQ Plc – on February 14, 2022. A core element of this partnership is a USD 5 million equity investment made by HUGO BOSS – the first of its kind as part of the Company’s “CLAIM 5” growth strategy. The investment is supplemented by exclusive partnership arrangements of up to USD 4 million, conditional to achieving certain performance milestones. The partnership will focus on the manufacturing of a sustainable, circular, and recyclable cellulosic yarn aimed at substituting synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon.

Chief Brand Officer Ingo Wilts informed the Supervisory Board of HUGO BOSS AG on February 23, 2022 that he will resign from his office as a member of the Managing Board for personal reasons with effect from February 28, 2022 and will thus leave the Managing Board of HUGO BOSS AG. The duties falling under the responsibility of Ingo Wilts shall be assumed by Chief Executive Officer Daniel Grieder. 

At the time this report was prepared on February 24, 2022, it was not possible for the Company to predict with sufficient certainty the extent to which a further escalation of the Ukraine conflict would impact the global economy and industry growth in fiscal year 2022. Even though the global business of HUGO BOSS was not noticeably affected by the geopolitical tensions at the time this report was prepared, it cannot be ruled out in principle that a further escalation of the conflict will have a material negative impact on the net assets, financial position, and results of operations of HUGO BOSS in fiscal year 2022.

Between the end of fiscal year 2021 and the preparation of this report on February 24, 2022, there were no further material macroeconomic, socio-political, industry-related or Company-specific changes that the Management expects to have a significant impact on the Group’s earnings, net assets or financial position.


The following report presents the view of the Management of HUGO BOSS with respect to the Company’s future development and describes the expected development of significant macroeconomic and industry-specific conditions. It reflects Management’s current knowledge at the time the report was prepared, while also taking into account the fact that, if risks and opportunities materialize as described in the Risks and Opportunities section, actual developments may differ significantly from this outlook, either positively or negatively. Other than the statutory publication requirements, HUGO BOSS does not assume any obligation to update the statements contained in this report. Report on Risks and Opportunities

Economic and industry-specific developments have a major influence on the development of the Company’s operational and financial development. Statements made in this section regarding the Company’s expected business performance are therefore based on certain assumptions with regards to developments in the global economy and in the industry. Over the course of the year, the Group will closely monitor the development of these conditions, in order to respond to possible changes as quickly and comprehensively as possible.

Outlook for the global economy

In its publication of January 25, 2022, the IMF anticipates a weaker development of the global economy in fiscal year 2022 than initially forecast and consequently lowers its growth outlook. Global growth is thus expected to slow to 4.4% this year (2021: 5.9%) – half a percentage point less than forecast in October. The main reason for this is the global spread of the Omicron virus variant towards the end of 2021 and its impact on the affected economies. The outlook is also based on the assumption that current global challenges will persist in 2022. For example, the emergence of new COVID-19 variants could prolong the pandemic and lead to renewed economic disruptions. Ongoing geopolitical tensions, such as the Ukraine conflict, pose a further risk to overall economic development. In addition, ongoing disruptions to global supply chains, the volatility of freight costs and energy prices, and the further increase in wages, are expected to result in high levels of global inflation in the foreseeable future. Monetary countermeasures, such as key interest rate hikes, are also likely to slow the economy, thus representing additional risks to financial stability, capital flows and currencies. Risk Report, Material External Risks

Based on these assumptions, the IMF expects the economy of the eurozone to grow by 3.9% in 2022 (2021: 5.2%). For the U.S. economy, the IMF expects growth of 4.0% (2021: 5.6%), reflecting an increasingly restrictive monetary policy and a revised assumption regarding the “Build Back Better” fiscal policy package of the U.S. government. According to the IMF, China is also expected to see a general economic slowdown in 2022 due to the zero-COVID strategy and ongoing tensions in the real estate sector. The IMF forecasts that the Chinese economy will grow by 4.8% in 2022, well below the prior-year level (2021: 8.1%).

The risks and uncertainties associated with these assumptions remain fundamentally high. For example, it is currently not possible to precisely predict the extent to which the further development of the pandemic – for example with regard to new virus variants and related renewed waves of infection and lockdowns – will affect the global economy over the course of the year. In addition, it is difficult to predict the impact of the pandemic on global supply chains, for example with regard to production and logistics capacities, as well as the further development of material, production and freight costs. Finally, the extent to which geopolitical tensions may impact economic growth in 2022 cannot be predicted with full certainty at the at the time of preparing this report.

Industry outlook

The recovery of the global apparel industry, which had already been visible in 2021, is expected to continue in fiscal year 2022, although development is likely to vary across regions. Challenges for 2022 include, in particular, the persistence of pandemic-related shortages in logistics, production delays, a further increase in material and freight costs and the ongoing shortage of materials. This is likely to continue increasing the input costs of many companies in 2022 and generally lead to price increases for consumers.

In terms of consumer behavior, it is also expected that in 2022, industry growth will primarily be driven by local demand, given ongoing pandemic-related uncertainties. In contrast, business with international tourists is expected to recover comparatively slowly, partly due to persisting restrictions on international travel. In addition, there is the possibility of isolated regional lockdowns due to the pandemic also in 2022, which will further increase the relevance of the online business.

According to a joint study by The Business of Fashion and consulting firm McKinsey & Company published in November 2021, the global apparel industry is expected to grow by +3% to +8% in 2022 as compared to pre-pandemic levels. Excluding the luxury segment, for which above-average growth is also forecast for 2022, sector growth should be in the range of 0% to +5% (2021: −4% to +1% compared with 2019). As a result, the industry should be able to fully recover from the pandemic-related revenue declines over the course of the year.

China, in particular, is expected to continue to record robust growth, with industry sales (excluding the luxury segment) expected to increase by +2% to +7% in 2022 compared with 2019 (2021: −3% to +2% compared with 2019). The anticipated growth should be driven by strong local demand. In the U.S. market, industry growth is likely to slow down to a certain extent in 2022, after demand in 2021 was driven by a noticeable recovery in private consumption post lockdowns, as well as monetary and fiscal policy measures. At the same time, business with international tourists is expected to continue to recover only slowly. The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company therefore expect industry sales in the U.S. to develop within a range of −1% to +4% (excluding the luxury segment) compared with 2019 (2021: +5% to +10% compared with 2019). In Europe, on the other hand, the market environment is expected to further improve. While industry sales were particularly impacted in the first half of 2021, reflecting store closures and local restrictions, the industry is expected to benefit from a further recovery in private consumption and continued robust local demand in 2022. The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company therefore expect industry sales growth (excluding the luxury segment) to noticeably improve at a level of between −2% and +3% compared with 2019 (2021: −15% to −10% compared with 2019).

Outlook for HUGO BOSS

For HUGO BOSS, fiscal year 2022 represents an important milestone in achieving its 2025 financial targets as set out in “CLAIM 5”. The main focus in 2022 will be on significantly increasing the relevance and perception of BOSS and HUGO, particularly among younger customer groups, by means of the successfully implemented branding refresh and the related additional marketing investments. At the same time, product investments will contribute to establishing BOSS as a true 24/7 lifestyle brand and HUGO as the first point of contact for younger customers. In addition, in 2022, HUGO BOSS will continue to invest in the digitalization of its business model and in the optimization and modernization of its global store network. All initiatives are aimed at further strengthening the sales momentum gained in 2021 and increasing Group sales to EUR 4 billion by 2025. At the same time, in 2022 HUGO BOSS will push ahead with all those measures that are aimed at realizing efficiency gains, particularly in connection with the ongoing optimization of its global store network. This should enable HUGO BOSS to make further progress in 2022 towards its 2025 financial target of an EBIT margin of around 12%. Group Strategy, Financial Targets up to 2025

The statements in the outlook for fiscal year 2022 are based on the respective results for fiscal year 2021. Against the backdrop of the macroeconomic and industry-specific conditions and taking into account the implications of ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19 known at the time of preparing this report, HUGO BOSS expects to increase Group sales in 2022 between +10% and +15% to a record level of between EUR 3.1 billion and EUR 3.2 billion (2021: EUR 2.8 billion).

Growth is expected to vary across regions. For Europe, HUGO BOSS anticipates sales growth in the low to mid-teens range. While in particular the first half of 2021 was characterized by long-lasting lockdowns and store closures in many important markets, the Company expects demand to pick up during the course of 2022. Also in the Americas region, the strong momentum of the prior year is expected to continue in fiscal year 2022. As a result, HUGO BOSS expects growth in the mid- to high single-digit range. In the Asia/Pacific region, the Company intends to fully exploit all growth opportunities also in 2022 and, assuming overall robust regional economic development, expects sales growth in the mid- to high teens range.

In addition, HUGO BOSS forecasts to increase its operating profit (EBIT) in 2022 within a range of +10% to +25% to an amount of between EUR 250 million and EUR 285 million (2021: EUR 228 million), with final sales performance being decisive for the amount of the expected EBIT. In this context, the investments planned for 2022 as part of “CLAIM 5” to strengthen products, brands and digital expertise are expected to be largely offset by efficiency gains. At the same time, the Company expects the Group’s net income to improve to a level of between EUR 150 million and EUR 180 million (2021: EUR 144 million).

Following a very positive development of trade net working capital as a percentage of sales in 2021, HUGO BOSS now expects gradual normalization for fiscal year 2022, and a related increase to a level of between 18% and 19% (2021: 17.2%). The anticipated development is fully in line with the Company’s target range of between 16% and 19% as set out in “CLAIM 5”. Capital expenditures are expected to total between EUR 200 million and EUR 230 million in 2022 (2021: EUR 104 million), thus also in line with the target range of between 6% and 7% of Group sales set out in “CLAIM 5”. The expected increase compared to the prior-year level mainly reflects the accelerated renovation and further optimization of the global store network as well as investments in the ongoing digitalization of the business model.

In view of the strong operational and financial performance in 2021, the very solid financial position and management’s confidence in the successful execution of its “CLAIM 5” growth strategy, HUGO BOSS is planning to resume dividend payments. Consequently, the Managing Board and the Supervisory Board intend to propose to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 24, 2022, a dividend of EUR 0.70 per share for fiscal year 2021 (2020: EUR 0.04). The proposal is equivalent to a payout ratio of 35% of the Group’s net income attributable to shareholders in fiscal year 2021. Assuming that the shareholders approve the proposal, the dividend will be paid out on May 30, 2022. Based on the number of shares outstanding at the end of the year, the amount distributed will total EUR 48 million (2020: EUR 3 million).

Outlook for fiscal year 2022



Results 2021


Outlook 2022

Group sales


Increase by 43%
to EUR 2,786 million


Increase within a range of +10% to +15% (to EUR 3.1 billion to EUR 3.2 billion)

Sales by region







Increase by 42%
to EUR 1,742 million


Increase in the low to mid‑teens percentage range



Increase by 77%
to EUR 543 million


Increase in the mid- to high single‑digit percentage range



Increase by 23%
to EUR 423 million


Increase in the mid- to high teens percentage range

Operating result (EBIT)


Increase by >100%
to EUR 228 million


Increase within a range of +10% to +25% (to EUR 250 million to EUR 285 million)

Group’s net income


Increase by >100%
to EUR 144 million


Increase to a level of between EUR 150 million and EUR 180 million

Trade net working capital as a percentage of sales


Decrease by 1,160 basis points
to 17.2%


Increase to a level of between 18% and 19%

Capital expenditure


EUR 104 million


EUR 200 million to EUR 230 million