Property, plant and equipment increased slightly year on year to EUR 675 million (December 31, 2013: EUR 669 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.
Slight decrease in inventories
Inventories fell at the end of the fiscal year 2014 by 1% to EUR 169 million (December 31, 2013: EUR 170 million). Strict inventory management helped reduce the stock of finished goods in connection with the worldwide expansion of the Group’s own retail business by 3% year on year. Over the same period, raw materials and supplies increased by 3%.
Increase in trade receivables
Trade receivables with external wholesale partners increased by 28% year on year to EUR 32 million (December 31, 2013: EUR 25 million). This development was mainly driven by the higher share than last year of deliveries in the wholesale business at the end of the reporting period. Days sales outstanding deteriorated slightly compared to the prior year.
Receivables from affiliated companies saw an increase to EUR 94 million (December 31, 2013: EUR 65 million). This development is essentially attributable to the larger volume of receivables due from affiliated companies.
Other assets, at EUR 26 million, were down 8% year on year (December 31, 2013: EUR 29 million). These mainly pertain to bonus receivables from suppliers, credit card receivables as well as income tax and VAT receivables. The decrease on the previous year is mainly attributable to lower income tax receivables.
Cash and cash equivalents, as the sum of cash on hand and bank balances, increased in comparison to December 31, 2013 by EUR 2 million to EUR 5 million (December 31, 2013: EUR 3 million).
Liabilities down slightly year on year
On the equity and liabilities side, liabilities stood at EUR 351 million as of the reporting date, meaning they were 1% below the prior-year level (December 31, 2013: EUR 355 million). This includes trade payables that as of the reporting date were, at EUR 93 million up 7% year on year, driven by quantity effects (December 31, 2013: EUR 88 million).
On aggregate, provisions decreased by 13% to EUR 96 million as of the reporting date (December 31, 2013: EUR 110 million). The decrease is mainly due to a voluntary prepayment in connection with the tax field audit for the assessment period 2007–2011. Lower personnel provisions also led to a decrease in the item.
Trade net working capital unchanged compared to prior year
Trade net working capital is HUGO BOSS AG’s performance indicator for measuring the efficient use of capital. The only components factored into the calculation of this indicator are inventories, trade receivables and trade payables. As of the end of the reporting date, the trade net working capital was, at EUR 107 million, at the prior-year level (December 31, 2013: EUR 107 million). The increase in trade receivables was counterbalanced by an increase in trade payables.