Property, plant and equipment and intangible assets increased 5% year-on-year to EUR 706 million (December 31, 2014: EUR 675 million). Both investments in software and user rights in connection with the continuous enhancement of the ERP system and those in the expansion and modernization of the retail network in Germany and Austria contributed to this. The renovation of the Wendlingen warehousing site in preparation for the planned insourcing of order processing in the European online business and expansion spending at the Metzingen site led to an increase in property, plant and equipment.
Inventories above prior-year level
Inventories increased by 4% at the end of the fiscal year 2015 to EUR 175 million (December 31, 2014: EUR 169 million). The inventory of finished goods was up 10% on the prior year. By contrast, raw materials and supplies decreased 21% during the same period.
Decrease in trade receivables
Trade receivables with external wholesale partners decreased 14% year-on-year to EUR 27 million (December 31, 2014: EUR 32 million), owing primarily to the improved average days sales outstanding as compared with the previous year.
Receivables from affiliated companies saw an increase to EUR 123 million (December 31, 2014: EUR 94 million). This development is essentially attributable to the larger volume of receivables due from affiliated companies.
Other assets, at EUR 45 million, were up on the prior year (December 31, 2014: EUR 26 million). These mainly pertain to bonus receivables from suppliers, credit card receivables as well as income tax and VAT receivables. The increase on the previous year is mainly attributable to higher income tax receivables.
Cash and cash equivalents, as the sum of cash on hand and bank balances, increased EUR 2 million in comparison to December 31, 2014 to EUR 3 million (December 31, 2014: EUR 5 million).
Liabilities up on the prior year
On the equity and liabilities side, liabilities stood at EUR 373 million as at the reporting date, meaning they were 6% above the prior-year level (December 31, 2014: EUR 351 million). This includes liabilities due to affiliated companies of EUR 257 million (December 31, 2014: EUR 236 million), and trade payables that at EUR 95 million as at the reporting date were up 2% year-on-year, driven by quantity effects (December 31, 2014: EUR 93 million).
On aggregate, provisions increased 3% to EUR 99 million as at the reporting date (December 31, 2014: EUR 96 million). Higher personnel provisions were the main catalyst for this rise.
Trade net working capital unchanged compared to prior year
Trade net working capital is HUGO BOSS AG’s performance indicator for measuring the efficiency of capital employed. The only three components factored into the calculation of this indicator are inventories, trade receivables and trade payables. As at the reporting date, the trade net working capital was, at EUR 107 million, at the prior-year level (December 31, 2014: EUR 107 million). The increase in trade receivables was counterbalanced by an increase in trade payables.