By  on July 30, 2009

MILAN — Boosted by a strong performance of its footwear division and growth in Italy and Asia, Tod’s SpA reported a 3.4 percent increase in first-half sales to 358.9 million euros, or $491.6 million at average exchange, compared with the same period last year.

The Italian luxury firm owns the Tod’s, Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier brands. Stripping out the effects of currency, revenues gained 2 percent.

Tod’s chairman and chief executive officer Diego Della Valle said the results “confirm, once again, the strength” of the company, which continues to grow, “even in a highly challenging environment.” Della Valle also touted the positioning of his brands, “which represent the perfect mix of quality, exclusivity and usability.”

By brand, sales of the Tod’s label were in line with the first six months last year, inching down 0.1 percent to 180.7 million euros, or $247.5 million.

Hogan showed further growth, with revenues rising 12.6 percent to 131.9 million euros, or $180.7 million. Apparel label Fay fell 0.7 percent to 38.5 million euros, or $52.7 million. The recently revamped Roger Vivier brand, which still accounts for only 2.1 percent of sales, showed an 18.6 percent drop to 7.3 million euros, or $10 million.

Shoes continued to deliver the bulk of sales, gaining 7.7 percent to 260.9 million euros, or $357.4 million. Leather goods and accessories have been showing “signals of recovery” over the past few months, the company said, but registered a 9.5 percent drop to 59.2 million euros, or $81.1 million, in the first half. Tod’s also attributed this to the success of lower priced items compared with leather handbags, such as the successful G-Bag in fabric. “For this reason, the slight growth of volumes didn’t produce a corresponding increase of turnover,” said the company.

Apparel posted a 1.6 percent drop in sales to 38.4 million euros, or $52.6 million.

By region, Italy continues to be the group’s main market, with sales of 200.5 million euros, or $274.7 million, and showed a 10.1 percent increase. The rest of Europe, however, saw a 7 percent drop in sales to 77.6 million euros, or $106.3 million. “A still difficult economic and financial environment” hurt the group’s performance in the U.S., which was “very weak” in the period, said Tod’s. The U.S. market, which accounts for 6 percent of sales, showed a 23.6 percent drop in revenues to 22.9 million euros, or $31.3 million. The rest of the world showed a 12.7 percent gain to 57.9 million euros, or $79.3 million. China, in particular, showed “outstanding” results.

The figures were released before the close of trading in Milan, where Tod’s stock showed a 0.56 percent growth to 39.51 euros, or $56.21 at current exchange.

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