Fashion index up 32% on annual basis

Listed apparel companies have seen their joint market value to go up by 32% over the past 12 months. This growth beats that of general indices like DOW Jones, FTSE, Nikkei and most others. The international fashion industry benchmark

started trading at 1,000 exactly one year ago and closed at 1,320 the last of June 2011.

Taking into account that Dow Jones´annual growth of 26%, London's FTSE added 24% to its market value, while Nikkei grew 7% and Hong Kong-based Hang Seng´s a 10%, fashion has been the most lucrative investment over the past 365 days, as its representative index, the FashionUnited Top 100 increased by 32% in the past twelve months.

Reason for this extraordinary result will be found in the fact that the companies listed in the FashionUnited Top100 have managed to expand successfully and to increase their market share. In total, the fashion market increased by an estimated 2.5% mainly because a larger Chinese and Indian demand.

Despite the huge rise in cotton and other raw materials prices, fashion industry has also enhanced its profitability thanks to the implementation of economies of scale, more efficient IT systems and state-of-the-art logistics. As a whole, the industry has performed with higher professionalism and quickly adopted new opportunities to remain competitive within an increasingly competitive market.

TopFashion index up 32% on annual basis10 fastest growers in market capitalisation:
+ 235% Fossil
+ 200% Lululemon Athletica Inc.
+ 179%
+ 142% DILLARD'S, INC.
+ 130% Under Armour, Inc.
+ 119% French Connection
+ 119% Abercrombie & Fitch
+ 118% Yoox
+ 106% Hugo Boss AG
+ 106% Tiffany & Co.

Note: Index' newcomer Mulberry went up by 660% over the past 12 months.

As to mark its first anniversary, the international fashion index will farewell seven of its companies to welcome other seven on board. Thus, changes will be as follows:
• Being a pioneer in boosting the boiling IPO market in Asia, Prada SpA has won its own place among the 100 largest quoted companies within the apparel sector. The Italian luxury label has proven to be a< strong trend-setter, not only in a purely fashionable way, but also when it comes to be profitable.
• TOD´s is rapidly becoming a strong voice among European fashion retailers. The Italian-based company's proprietary brands include Tod's, which provides hand-crafted shoes, leather goods, accessories and apparel; Hogan, which produces shoes, leather goods, accessories and apparel, and Fay, which offers a collection of casual clothing for men, women and children.

• Similar reasons have catapulted German Gerry Weber in to the Top 100. Composed of three main clothing brands, the firm caters for the upper mid-price segment for ladies’ clothing under the eponymous label, whereas it can be found targeting younger women with Taifun and well established in the plus-size wear with Samoon.
• Two new British names to closely follow: Mulberry and Supergroup. Being the first known as the ‘new Burberry’ for its unique quality and design, it has quickly became the precious and sought after value for its enormous value for shareholders; meanwhile, the latter is in everybody´s mouth not only for its apparently never-ending range of iconic t-shirts, but also for its increasing weight in the European stock market.

• Taking into account the lust of fast developing economies, the FashionUnited Top 100 has added the Brazilian star Cia Hering, which key activity is the production and marketing of threads, fabrics, textiles, knitwear and clothing in general. The company has four brand names: Hering, Hering Kids, dzarm and PUC and it sells products of all its brands to franchises and multibrand retail stores.

• Last but not least, US based Express Inc. enters the benchmark index to balance its European and Asian counter partners, substituting other smaller US companies contained in the Index before.

Different mention deserves those seven companies that will be exiting the Top 100 as per the 1st of July. In most of cases, their exit responds to corporate movements that forced them to stop trading in the stock exchange or just because they are too niche-oriented. Therefore, Gymboree, J Crew Group, and Timberland fall under the first category, whereas Sketchers, Crocs and Wolverine World Wide are too focused on footwear as to be considered together with other broader fashion and apparel companies. Last to abandon the FashionUnited Top100 Index will be the US-based Pacific Sunwear of California, too small to compete with other companies listed in the index.

The FashionUnited Top 100 Index is a capitalization-weighted index gathering some of the world largest stock listed apparel companies. All listed companies specialize in the sale of clothing, whether in physical retail stores, wholesale or by e-commerce. They do not necessarily have to be the world largest ones, but the main stock listed firms located in those countries represented in the index with their own weighting based on market capitalization, which is calculated June 30th of each year.




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