The Italian brand reported its preliminary 2021 revenues on Monday, registering 30.9 percent growth in the 12 months ended Dec. 31. Sales amounted to 712 million euros, compared to 544 million euros in 2020. At constant exchange rates, revenues grew 32.4 percent. Compared with 2019, sales rose 17.2 percent.
“We have achieved some important results worldwide, both in terms of economics and image, so that we can define this time just passed: the year of rebalancing,” said Cucinelli, executive chairman and creative director of his namesake company, in a statement released at the end of trading. “The spring 2022 collections and the fall 2022 pre-collections received great appreciation from both buyers and international press, and based on these results, we imagine a fine, gracious and balanced growth of around 10 percent for the current year. All this will allow us to work with healthy focus and dedication, envisaging a bright future for our Casa di Moda, for the territory and the next generations.”
Before Christmas, as reported, Cucinelli said he would like his company to be called Casa di Moda, and feels that it has deserved the right to be defined that way. “Our values and our fashion are representative of a fashion house,” he said at the time.
On Monday, Cucinelli confirmed his “very concrete” expectations of a balanced growth of around 10 percent for both 2022 and 2023, “given the performance of the collections, the selected boutique network development project and the like-for-like results we expect.”
In addition, Cucinelli said the company is “progressively returning to the profitability levels prior to the start of the pandemic, which have always been based on the values that inspire us: the right growth, the right profit, the right balance between profit and gift. Thus we have concrete expectations that we will be able to end the first five-year 2019-2023 period of our 2019-2028 10-year plan very favorably, and slightly higher than the expectations we had before the pandemic began.”
In 2021, sales in Europe grew 26.5 percent to 219 million euros compared with 2020, representing 30.8 percent of the total. Compared with 2019, sales climbed 23.8 percent. Balanced retail and multibrand sales contributed to the performance.
The main European luxury capitals, such as Paris, Milan and London, showed a significant rebound and pointed to the customers’ desire to return to physical stores and to events, Cucinelli said, citing the inauguration of the brand’s New Bond Street boutique in London and that of Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
Cucinelli also cited “excellent” results in Russia, which has significantly contributed to the brand’s growth in Europe. In the second half of the year, the company saw a recovery of the countries in Central-Northern Europe, of second-tier cities and a progressive recovery in the Mediterranean area, also thanks to the strengthening of regional tourism and the first arrivals of international customers, in particular from North America.
Revenues in Italy accelerated in the last part of the year. In the full year 2021, sales climbed 23.2 percent to 84.2 million euros compared with 2020, accounting for 11.8 percent of the total. Compared with 2019, they declined 6.2 percent. However, in the last quarter, revenues were almost in line with the same period of 2019.
Sales in the Americas were up 36.7 percent to 238.2 million euros compared with 2020, representing 33.4 percent of the total. Revenues in the region rose 15.8 percent compared with 2019.
A growing desire to “dress well” for both men and women, a balanced presence and domestic tourism all contributed to the performance, with resorts in the U.S. becoming a reference point for exclusive stays. Online sales also helped drive sales, complementing revenues in the physical channel.
Sales in Asia grew 32.9 percent to 170.6 million euros, representing 24 percent of the total. Sales were up 26 percent compared with 2019. The last quarter of the year showed a significant acceleration of sales, thanks in particular to the performance of mainland China.
“We believe these results are brilliant, both for the absolute value of the performance and for the way in which we have achieved them,” Cucinelli said. “In the pursuit of balanced, healthy and quiet growth, we believe that our approach to China, in full respect of its Millennial culture, can give us beautiful and sustainable growth in the coming years.”
Japan, which had shown some volatility during the year, thanks to an acceleration in the fourth quarter, closed 2021 substantially in line with 2019, and very solid results were achieved in South Korea and in some countries of South East Asia.
Retail sales climbed 56 percent to 419.3 million euros compared with 2020, representing 58.9 percent of the total. Compared with 2019, the channel was up 23.5 percent.
Solid like-for-like sales, new openings, the expansion of existing spaces and new concessions contributed to showing an acceleration of the channel in the last part of the year.
As of Dec. 31, the number of boutiques amounted to 114 compared to 107 boutiques in the prior year, with four openings and three wholesale boutique conversions, including a store in the Dubai Mall and a space in the exclusive resort town of Gstaad.
There are 43 directly managed shops within department stores, compared to 31 hard shops at the end of December in the previous year, primarily related to the conversion to the direct management of 10 spaces within Nordstrom. In the last part of 2021, the company added the Madison Avenue flagship in New York.
In 2021, wholesale revenues grew 6.3 percent to 292.7 million euros, representing 41.1 percent of the total. Compared with 2019, the channel was up 9.1 percent.
The company has been investing in its “Casa Cucinelli” project, where it aims to recreate that same atmosphere and lifestyle experience — including Italian cuisine — of the Solomeo headquarters. This has led to the creation of multifunctional spaces in Milan, London, Paris and New York. The goal is also to open additional ones in the future in Shanghai and Tokyo.
In 2021, the company invested 61 million euros, compared with 51.6 million euros in 2020, mainly allocated to retail experiences and to the digital, technology, production and logistic investments.
Through a strong cash generation related to operating activities and a solid management of net working capital, as of Dec. 31 net financial debt decreased to about 23 million euros, compared with 93.5 million euros at the end of the previous year.
“We think that 2021 is the year in which our interpretation of humanistic capitalism and human sustainability has become even clearer and appreciated by the sensibility of many people in the world,” said Cucinelli, referring to two company foundations.
He pointed to the issue, which he discussed during his speech at the last G20 Summit in Rome in October, of “strict compliance with the law, which is linked, for example, to the duty to pay the right taxes in one’s own country. In our view, this too is part of the moral sustainability we are referring to.”
At the end of 2021, the company communicated the target of a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in terms of economic intensity by 2028 and in absolute terms by 70 percent for scope 1 and 2 emissions and by 22.5 percent for scope 3.