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Yoox Posts 2013 Profit Gain

A solid performance in all its main markets lifted the group’s net profit last year.

MILAN — A solid performance in all its main markets lifted Yoox Group’s net profit last year by 23.9 percent to 12.6 million euros, or $16.6 million, compared with 10.2 million euros, or $13 million, in 2012.

This story first appeared in the March 6, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Italian e-tailer posted revenues of 455.6 million euros, or $601.4 million, up 21.2 percent compared with 375.9 million euros, or $481.1 million, at the end of the previous year. The fourth quarter showed an acceleration on the first nine months, registering a 24.1 gain to 136.3 million euros, or $185.3 million.

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

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During a conference call with analysts, Federico Marchetti, founder and chief executive officer of the group, said Yoox “proved to be a high-growth company,” touting the effectiveness of its business model and describing 2013 as the “best year.”

Based on a performance that “looks almost perfect,” the entrepreneur was confident that “all the investments made will continue to fuel future long-term growth,” and that Yoox “will post another year of profitable growth.”

Marchetti said the plan is to continue to reinvest in innovation, with particular focus on mobile, which accounted for 40 percent of the group’s traffic at the end of the year, compared with 8.5 percent in 2012.

In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, the multibrand business line, which includes Yoox.com, Thecorner.com and Shoescribe.com, saw sales grow 25.3 percent to 328.2 million euros, or $433.2 million, boosted by a solid performance of all three online stores. In the fourth quarter, sales grew 29.6 percent, driven by an acceleration of Yoox.com, which “marked the biggest increase in sales ever registered in absolute terms, thanks to a significantly higher customer retention rate, a further improvement in the conversion rate and an outstanding Christmas campaign,” said the company. At the end of December, the multibrand business accounted for 72 percent of total sales.

The Italian e-tailer also manages e-stores for designer brands from Giorgio Armani to Ermenegildo Zegna, and this channel posted sales of 127.4 million euros, or $168.1 million, up 11.9 percent from the previous year. In the fourth quarter, sales were up 11.9 percent. During 2013, the group launched e-stores for Missoni and Dodo.

Marchetti noted the “successful and timely launch” of all six online stores of the brands originally included in the joint venture with Kering, from Alexander McQueen to Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga, as well as the addition of Brioni in November 2013.

Asked during the call whether Gucci may join the joint venture with Kering, Marchetti said, “We hope, but it’s premature [to discuss].”

Last year, the monobrand business line accounted for 28 percent of group sales with 37 online stores.

North America was the group’s number-one market, with net revenues of 102.8 million euros, or $135.7 million, accounting for 22.6 percent of sales, and gaining 26.1 percent in 2013. “The U.S. is a great opportunity for long-term growth,” said Marchetti.

Despite Italy’s economic struggles, the country showed a marked acceleration in the fourth quarter, with sales growing 31.3 percent, the highest rate recorded by the domestic market since 2009. The Rest of Europe gained 21.4 percent in the year, accelerating further in the fourth quarter (up 26.8 percent), boosted by an “exceptional” performance in the U.K.

Japan was up 10.7 percent during the year and 7.4 percent in the last quarter, despite the sharp depreciation of the yen. At constant exchange rates, Japan would have grown 40 percent in the year and 39.6 percent in the last quarter.

Other Countries grew 49.4 percent in the year.

Asked by an analyst about the performance of Asia-Pacific, Marchetti said China will continue to fuel the group’s growth, also leveraging “a new additional logistics structure. We confirm our long-term strategy in China,” he said, adding that he was “very optimistic” about China in 2014.