MILAN — Defining this as “a magic moment” for Furla, chief executive officer Eraldo Poletto touted a 13 percent increase in the accessories company’s preliminary 2014 revenues. Sales last year rose to 258 million euros, or $343.1 million, compared with 228 million euros, or $301 million, in 2013. Since 2010, revenues have climbed 71.5 percent.
Dollar amounts are converted at average exchange for the periods to which they refer.
“This is the result of the intense work done over the past few years on both product and distribution. We are growing in all channels and all countries. The year 2015 will be one of marketing strategies, where we will triple investments,” said Poletto ahead of the brand’s presentation here on Thursday. Aiming to create a new perception of the label, Furla has tapped Mario Testino for a marketing and advertising campaign for spring, as reported.
“Another important asset is the expansion of our product categories,” he said. Poletto underscored that Furla is evolving into a lifestyle brand and that the company sees footwear as “extremely strategic, a key focus with a dedicated business unit.”
Creative director Fabio Fusi identified bejeweled pumps as the looks that most identify the new course of the division, trumpeting Furla’s high quality and top production in Tuscany. Fusi touted his design team’s passion about the product, the “joyful and surprise” elements Furla aims to convey, such as colorful graffiti prints for spring, and noted that the accessories market has been somewhat “static and safe,” with firms focusing on a “capitalization on iconic shapes.”
In 2014, exports accounted for 80 percent of sales. The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region represented 30 percent of total revenues, Japan 25 percent, the Asia Pacific area 16 percent and the U.S. 9 percent. Asked about Russia, Poletto said the market “is very important and we are investing in it. We are not giving up at the first signs of problems; actually, we are evaluating opening a new store in Moscow.”
Retail sales accounted for 60 percent of total revenues. There are 398 Furla stores in the world, of which 183 are directly operated, and the brand is carried in more than 1,100 points of sale.
The company opened 60 stores in 2014 and plans to open the same number in 2015. Units in Madrid and Vienna will open at the end of March. A flagship will be unveiled on New York’s Fifth Avenue in the first half of 2015.
The executive reiterated that the company, which is owned by the Furlanetto family, has the liquidity to grow on its own and that an initial public offering is not on the table. “We are working to be able to decide one day [whether eventually to go public],” said Poletto.