Brunello Cucinelli Sales Rise

Gains in all geographic markets except for Italy, and a large jump in Greater China, helped the company post 16.1 percent growth in revenues in the first half.

MILAN — Gains in all geographic markets except for Italy, and a 52 percent jump in Greater China, helped newly public Brunello Cucinelli SpA post 16.1 percent growth in revenues in the first six months of the year. In the period ended June 30, the Italian luxury fashion house registered preliminary sales of 135.2 million euros, or $174.4 million, compared with 116.5 million euros, or $163.1 million, in the first half of last year.

This story first appeared in the July 20, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Dollar amounts have been converted at average exchange for the periods to which they refer.

“We are more than satisfied with how things are going for our business,” said Cucinelli, who on April 27 listed the company he founded in 1978 on the Italian Stock Exchange. “We are especially pleased with the figures which, being sustained by the sales quality, point to a very interesting six months ahead in terms of profits.”

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The entrepreneur, known for his high-end cashmere, said “there is a great deal of interest at the international level for this impressively crafted Italian luxury, casual-chic style of clothing, which illustrates our belief in the importance of beauty, literature and science, the hallmarks of our culture.”

In the first six months, exports accounted for 73 percent of sales, compared with 68 percent in the same period last year. All international markets posted double-digit growth. Sales in the U.S. rose 23 percent, showing significant increases in its retail and wholesale channels.

European markets were up 17 percent, boosted by Russia and the former Soviet Union countries.

The performance in Greater China and in the rest of the world was especially noteworthy. Sales in Greater China, which rose 52 percent and still represent just 5 percent of the group’s total revenues, were led by the opening of stores in cities including Shanghai, Macau and a second unit in Hong Kong. Revenues in the rest of the world grew 53 percent, with significant increases in Japan and Korea.

Italy suffered, with sales declining 3 percent. Tourists helped the performance in Brunello Cucinelli stores, while the multibrand channel lagged behind, particularly in smaller towns.

Globally, results in the monobrand channel benefited from the opening of direct retail stores and franchised venues. The retail channel showed a 49 percent growth, reaching sales of 30.4 million euros, or $39.2 million. The franchised channel’s performance was equally solid, climbing 47 percent and totaling 21.8 million euros, or $28.1 million.

Sales at the multibrand division were up 2 percent to 83 million euros, or $107 million, led by a positive performance at top international department stores.

Store expansion is in line with the company’s plans. Through the opening of 15 stores, six franchised, the total number of banners has reached 70 units, of which 40 franchised, compared with 55 at the end of June last year.

Among the openings were venues in Hong Kong, Moscow, Shanghai, in Azerbaijan’s Baku, Mexico City, Chicago, Amsterdam, Madrid, Geneva and Florence, and in exclusive resorts St. Moritz and Spain’s Puerto Banus.

Net profit and detailed first-half results will be available on Aug. 28.