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Tod’s, Valentino Bullish on Outlook

Tod’s SpA chief executive officer Diego Della Valle said Tuesday the Italian luxury shoe and leather group should beat full-year forecasts.

MILAN — Tod’s SpA chief executive officer Diego Della Valle said Tuesday the Italian luxury shoe and leather group should beat full-year forecasts if it continues to perform well in the run-up to Christmas.

“The income figures in recent days indicate that we will close 2009 [in a better position than 2008] and if Christmas follows suit, we will close above market expectations,” Della Valle said by video link at a fashion and luxury goods conference here.

Revenues were growing, Della Valle said, and the group, which owns the Tod’s, Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier labels, had boosted its cash pile and improved its cash flow. He added the objective for 2010 was to increase the EBITDA margin, while continuing to grow the top line.

“[This] is the real end goal,” he said.

Della Valle said in August he anticipated “good results” in the second half of 2009, after net profits increased 3.1 percent to 41.9 million euros, or $55.9 million, in the first six months, beating analysts’ estimates. Sales for the period increased 3.4 percent to 359 million euros, or $479.3 million, driven by Hogan and demand for shoes in Italy and Asia.

Six-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose marginally to 77.8 million euros, or $103.8 million. As of June, the group’s net financial position was positive and equal to 100 million euros, or $143 million, almost double what it was at the same time last year.

Dollar figures were converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

Tod’s is slated to report third-quarter results on Nov. 11.

Meanwhile, Valentino Fashion Group ceo Stefano Sassi said Valentino sales were improving at wholesale, as the positive critical response to designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli’s spring collection translated into increased orders.

“We have had [positive] feedback both in terms of style and image, and on a commercial level, which is an essential step,” Sassi said on the sidelines of the conference, which was sponsored by Intesa Sanpaolo and Pambianco.

“The commercial feedback [for spring] has exceeded our original expectations….The returns at wholesale are greater than [for fall ’09]. There is growth, and this is an important and encouraging signal.”

He added the fall collection had also done well in terms of sell-through.

“In short, the Valentino product has increased its performance in this [period],” Sassi said. “We are seeing a discernable improvement in the performance of prêt-a-porter and a major growth in shoes.”