MILAN — A strong holiday season and growth across all product categories in every region helped Bulgari SpA post a 13.2 percent increase in sales for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 to 311.4 million euros, or $370.5 million. This compares with sales of 275 million euros, or $356.7 million, in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Sales for the year rose 10.5 percent to 918.7 million euros, or $1.14 billion, from 831.6 million euros, or $1.03 billion. Currency conversions were made at average exchange rates for the respective periods.
At constant exchange rates, sales would have increased by 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter and by 10.6 percent for the year.
Chief executive officer Francesco Trapani said in a phone interview that he was satisfied with the results, which were in line with his expectations. Trapani pointed to the "excellent sales during the holiday season," which confirmed the company's forecasts.
"These figures allow us to be optimistic for the year 2006. We expect to further grow the company in terms of sales and profits in the high single-digit range, a growth of about 8 or 9 percent at constant exchange rates," said Trapani.
Trapani once again dismissed market speculation that Bulgari may be for sale and reiterated the company has "never received offers, never negotiated a sale and is not interested in selling."
In 2005, while accessories showed the most significant growth — a 24.1 percent hike compared with 2004 at constant exchange rates — all categories showed sales increases: jewelry, Bulgari's largest revenue generator, grew 7.5 percent, watches 4.5 percent and perfumes 18.5 percent.
"Accessories are increasingly becoming an important category for us, accounting for sales of about 77 million euros [or $91.6 million]," said Trapani. At the end of last year, Bulgari opened two stores in Japan, in Osaka and Tokyo's Ginza district, dedicated to accessories. Trapani said the company plans to open three or four other accessories stores in Asia and Europe this year. In addition to leather goods and silk ties and scarves, Trapani said Bulgari has expanded the assortment of silver objects, such as pens, key chains and cuff links.The Assioma watch, launched in September, helped drive sales in the category. "Its design is highly unusual, and I believe this unique style helped us hit the mark in a very competitive market," said Trapani.
Europe showed signs of recovery with 15.4 percent sales growth. "We worked well with local communities and were supported by the tourist flow," said Trapani. Sales in Italy also grew 15 percent. Japan showed 17.4 growth, while sales in the U.S. increased 12.5 percent.
In the fourth quarter, watch sales grew 16.5 percent, jewelry 8.2 percent, perfumes 14.8 percent and accessories 11.7 percent. Japan and Europe grew 19.7 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively, with sales in Italy alone rising 8.4 percent. The Middle East showed an increase of 22.2 percent. Sales in the U.S. were in line with the same period in the previous year, up 1.1 percent. Bulgari, however, pointed to a "very challenging base of a 21 percent growth in the quarter of the two previous years" in America.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)