By  on April 26, 2018

MILAN — Italian accessories and luggage Piquadro Group closed its financial year ended March 31 on an upbeat note. The company, which is publicly listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, reported a 28.6 percent increase in revenues, which reached 97.63 million euros, compared with 75.91 million euros in the same period in the previous year.The increase in revenues was attributed to the consolidation of The Bridge SpA, which reported sales of 23.76 million euros in the 12 months ended March 31, and to a 4.3 percent increase in revenues of the Piquadro brand. In 2016, Piquadro acquired an 80 percent stake in Florence-based leather accessories brand The Bridge for  3.17 million euros. The agreement was signed between Piquadro and Il Ponte Pelletteria SpA, which controlled The Bridge label. Il Ponte Pelletteria established The Bridge in 1969. The Bridge manufactures its collections in Tuscany and is known for the use of a naturally treated leather with a cognac tone.All distribution channels boosted the performance of the Piquadro brand. Directly operated stores showed a 6.7 percent increase and like-for-like sales were up 3.3 percent. This channel includes the e-commerce channel, which climbed 19.7 percent.The wholesale division, which accounted for 44.6 percent of total sales, was up 2.7 percent, mainly lifted by the growth of European markets, which gained 13.3 percent, and Italy, which rose 3.8 percent.As a group, sales in Italy rose 31.3 percent to 17.7 million euros, representing 76 percent of total. Revenues grew 33.6 percent to 5.2 million euros in the European market, which accounted for 21.1 percent of total. In the extra-European markets revenues were down 29.1 percent.As reported, Piquadro is in exclusive talks to buy the French accessories label Lancel from Compagnie Financière Richemont, parent of brands including Cartier, Dunhill and Van Cleef & Arpels. On Thursday, a Piquadro spokeswoman had no update or comment in addition to the statement to the Milan stock exchange released in March confirming that talks have begun and that the company has started due diligence on Lancel. At the time, Piquadro said a deal could be tied up by the middle of this year.Richemont, which has confirmed talks about the disposal of Lancel are underway, bought Lancel in 1997, but it is now rationalizing its soft luxury division.The disposal of Lancel would follow Richemont’s sale of Shanghai Tang last year to an Italian investor, and is part of the luxury group’s efforts to clean house and focus on its biggest brands and businesses.Piquadro was founded near Bologna in 1987 by Marco Palmieri, now president and chief executive officer.The distribution network extends over 50 countries around the world and counts 99 Piquadro boutiques, of which 63 in Italy and 36 abroad including 55 directly operated stores and 44 franchised. The group also lists 12 Bridge boutiques in Italy and three abroad.

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