February 5, 2019 / 1:30 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 2-Ralph Lauren beats holiday sales estimates as marketing push pays off

(Adds details from conference call; Updates shares)

By Uday Sampath Kumar

Feb 5 (Reuters) - An advertising and marketing blitz that involved celebrities and social media helped luxury retailer Ralph Lauren Corp woo more customers and post another quarter of better-than-expected quarterly results, sending its shares up 11 percent.

The 50-year-old retailer, known for its preppy Polo shirts, spent about 18 percent more on marketing during its third quarter, sponsoring fashion events and hiring supermodels and actresses to promote its brand on Instagram.

The company hired supermodel Taylor Hill to promote a new line of fragrances and designed attire for the wedding of "Quantico" star Priyanka Chopra and singer Nick Jonas.

The marketing initiatives helped Ralph Lauren sell more of its coats, shirts and accessories at higher prices during the key holiday quarter even in discount heavy retail environment, Chief Executive Officer Patrice Louvet said on a post-earnings call.

Revenue rose to $1.73 billion from $1.64 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of $1.66 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Ralph Lauren's quarterly revenue in Greater China rose 19 percent in the quarter as it opened new stores, allaying some concerns around the impact of a slowing economy and the ongoing trade war with the United States on demand for luxury goods.

The company reported net income of $120 million in the third quarter ended Dec. 29, compared with a loss of $81.8 million last year, when it incurred charges related to changes in U.S. tax laws.

Excluding items, it earned $2.32 per share, above analysts' average estimate of $2.15, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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