Sustained workout wear demand drives Lululemon’s upbeat 2021 forecasts

(Reuters) -Lululemon Athletica Inc forecast full-year net revenue and profit above Street estimates on Thursday, anticipating continued demand for its workout wear despite easing COVID-19 restrictions in many of its top markets.

The health crisis and ensuing gym closures have pushed people to take up running and biking, creating a demand surge for clothing from athletic wear makers, including Lululemon, Nike Inc and Under Armour Inc.

The home-fitness trend coupled with an increase in interest in comfortable work-from-home lounge wear has prompted apparel sellers to double down on their casual offerings, with Lululemon also launching new styles of tank tops and shorts.

The owner of Mirror home-fitness platform said it expects fiscal 2021 net revenue to be in the range of $5.83 billion to $5.91 billion, compared with its prior range of $5.55 billion to $5.65 billion.

Lululemon said it expects adjusted earnings to be between $6.73 and $6.86 per share, compared with its prior range of $6.30 to $6.45.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $6.48 per share on net revenue of $5.68 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

For the first quarter, Lululemon’s net revenue rose 88% to $1.23 billion from a year earlier, as sales at stores that Lululemon operates more than doubled. Analysts on average had expected net revenue of $1.13 billion.

Excluding items, Lululemon earned $1.16 per share, above estimates of 91 cents.

“Our first quarter results reflected strength across all drivers of growth, fueled by the continued expansion in our e-commerce business and a rebound in brick-and-mortar stores,” Chief Executive Officer Calvin McDonald said.

Shares in the yogapants maker jumped 1% in extended trading.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)