MILAN — Italian luxury shoe and leather group Tod’s SpA on Wednesday reiterated its bullish outlook for the year, forecasting “excellent results in 2009” after nine-month sales edged up 1.8 percent and earnings remained almost flat.

This story first appeared in the November 12, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

For the nine months through Sept. 30, the group, which owns the Tod’s, Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier labels, reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 129.3 million euros, or $176.7 million, down slightly from 128.8 million euros, or $196.1 million in the corresponding period the year before. Consolidated sales increased to 559.4 million euros, or $764.6 million, led by Hogan and demand for shoes in Italy and Asia.

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

Same-store sales, which Tod’s defines as the global average of revenue growth rates reported by directly operated stores from Jan. 1 2008, contracted 0.4 percent in the first 45 weeks of 2009.

“At this point, I’m confident that if everything will continue as for now, we will reach excellent results in 2009,” Tod’s chief executive officer Diego Della Valle stated.

Della Valle told WWD earlier this week November was “a good month so far, and if we have a decent Christmas, we’ll close the year on a high note.” He also said on a conference last week that recent income figures indicated Tod’s would beat full-year forecasts.

Breaking down sales by brand, Hogan continued to grow by double digits, increasing 11.4 percent to 199.3 million euros, or $272.4 million, while Tod’s slipped 1.9 percent to 272.9 million euros, or $373 million, and Fay fell 3.1 percent to 75.3 million euros, or $102.9 million. Sales of Roger Vivier, which the group defined as “still in a start-up phase,” declined 15.1 percent to 11.2 million euros, or $15.3 million.

“Its goal is to become the most exclusive brand in the world of leather accessories in the medium term,” Tod’s added of Roger Vivier.

By product, sales of shoes, the group’s core business, climbed 5.8 percent to 395.8 million euros, or $541 million, while apparel sales contracted 1 percent to 77.3 million euros, or $105.7 million. Sales of leather goods and accessories fell 11.4 percent to 85.8 million euros, or $117.3 million, although the company noted “positive signs” from some products under the Tod’s brand, such as the lower priced G-Bag made in fabric.

Della Valle told WWD earlier this week he had sold out of the Tod’s D-Bag and there was a waiting list for it. For winter 2010, the company will launch the final bag in the “Icons” series, dubbed the “Bauletto.”

Sales grew 7.3 percent in Italy to 320.4 million euros, or $427.9 million, but declined 8.3 percent to 120.9 million euros, or $165.2 million, in the rest of Europe. Sales in North America, which Tod’s noted “shows very pale signs of recovery,” decreased 22.9 percent to 33.8 million euros, or $46.2 million.

Sales in Asia and the rest of the world gained 11.7 percent to 84.3 million euros, or $115.2 million, buoyed by “remarkable performances” in China and Hong Kong. Della Valle told WWD earlier this week that China, where Tod’s has 22 stores, was the company’s fastest-growing market but that it was managing growth there “to preserve the brand’s exclusivity.”

As of Sept. 30, the group’s net financial position was positive and equal to 106.3 million euros, or $159.3 million.

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