MILAN — Brunello Cucinelli is not one to only look at the numbers. His eponymous company on Thursday reported 9 percent sales growth in the first six months of the year, but the entrepreneur highlighted how “judging from the lovable mood surrounding our company,” he could “start envisioning a very interesting 2019 with good, sought-after growth as in the previous years.”
In the first half ended June 30, revenues increased 9 percent to 269.5 million euros, compared with 247.2 million euros in the same period last year. At constant exchange, they rose 11.9 percent.
In a statement released at the end of trading in Milan, where the company is publicly listed, Cucinelli expressed “great satisfaction” with the performance in the period and said that “considering the quality of sales, we can envisage yet another year in which further gracious growth — consistent and double-digit — will be achieved.” He noted that the orders for the men’s spring 2019 collection was “delivering very interesting numbers, thus confirming that there is a great chance in men’s wear for the Italian luxury sporty chic style that identifies us.”
In the first half, revenues outside Italy climbed 9.8 percent while sales in Italy grew 4.9 percent to 43.8 million euros, compared with 41.8 million euros, representing 16.3 percent of the total.
Revenues in Europe increased 12 percent to 84.2 million euros, representing 31.3 percent of total, lifted by all channels and both local and top-end tourists.
Sales in North America rose 2.5 percent to 86.3 million euros, accounting for 32 percent of total. In Greater China sales jumped 35.2 percent to 24.8 million euros, accounting for 9.2 percent of total. Continental China, Macao, Taiwan and Hong Kong all showed growth and the company noted an uptick in sales from Millennials. “The rise in revenues in the direct boutique network was accompanied by the positive contribution provided by sales in the new spaces dedicated to the brand in the most exclusive multibrand stores that are gradually developing in Continental China,” said the company, highlighting how the “increasing attention being placed by the new Millennials on the brand is of great interest, as is also the relationship we are building together.”
“We know that the first time they approach the brand and the company’s philosophy is often in the digital world, which is why we place considerable strategic importance on the value of the way in which our corporate web site and online boutique are able to communicate and be places where people can breathe our lifestyle, the hamlet of Solomeo [the restored medieval village in Central Italy where the company is based] and the taste of our collections.”
In the Rest of the World, sales gained 9.7 percent to 30.2 million euros, representing 11.2 percent of the total, lifted by an increase in new customers.
The retail channel was up 7.1 percent to 133.9 million euros, representing 49.7 percent of total.
Like-for-like sales grew 3.8 percent, lifted by the positive sellout of the spring 2018 collection. “Sales of the 2018 fall collections have begun very well, especially in the resort localities where tourists are already focusing on their purchases for the next winter season,” said the company.
As of June 30, the network comprised 97 boutiques with just one opening in the first six months of 2018, to which the conversions of the two Singapore boutiques from the wholesale monobrand channel in June should be added.
“Making investments, in order to keep the brand always contemporary and fresh — through the expansion of some existing boutiques in beautiful locations and the limitation of new openings to few stores a year — as well as revamping our showrooms seasonally, so as to display the collection in an equally fresh, young and contemporary manner, are both crucial for our brand image,” said the company.
Sales of the wholesale monobrand channel, comprising 29 boutiques, were up 12.4 percent to 19.8 million euros, representing 7.3 percent of the total.
The wholesale multibrand channel was up 10.7 percent to 115.8 million euros, representing 43 percent of the total. Cucinelli highlighted this performance in light of the company’s storied focus on the channel and the relationships created with luxury department stores.
Cucinelli was “excited to announce that last June,” presenting the summer 2019 collection, Robb Report, owned by WWD parent company Penske Media Corp., described Ralph Lauren and Brunello Cucinelli “as the two fashion designers who have redefined men’s fashion over the last three decades: one championing iconic American style and the other pioneering the 21st century’s casual dress code. We feel deeply honored to have received this recognition.”
Complete and final half-year financial figures will be released on Aug. 28.