MILAN — Lifted by gains in Asia and at retail, Salvatore Ferragamo Group returned to the black in 2010 and posted sales that hit the $1 billion mark.

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Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA, parent company of the group, said that in the year ended Dec. 31, net profit totaled 60.8 million euros, or $80.2 million, compared with a loss of 14.7 million euros, or $20.4 million, in the previous year.

Revenues in 2010 grew 26.1 percent to 781.6 million euros, or $1.03 billion, compared with 619.6 million euros, or $861.2 million, at the end of 2009, boosted by Ferragamo’s direct retail network, which showed a 29.1 percent increase. At the end of 2010, the company had 578 boutiques, of which 312 are directly operated.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) surged 82.7 percent to 113.1 million euros, or $149.3 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) spiked 137 percent to 86.4 million euros, or $114 million.

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

Geographically, Ferragamo registered growth across all markets in Europe and in the U.S., but the best performance was achieved in Asia, particularly in Greater China. Asian markets account for more than 50 percent of sales.

Last month, the Ferragamo family holding company Ferragamo Finanziaria SpA sold 8 percent of Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA to Hong Kong businessman Peter Woo and his family. At the same time, the company revealed plans to increase its equity interest in Ferragamo’s distribution companies based in Greater China, which will rise to a 75 percent stake from the current 50 percent (60 percent for Macau) in January 2013. This agreement was “aimed to strengthen the Ferragamo group’s presence in a key area of the luxury business for the third millennium,” said Ferruccio Ferragamo, chairman of Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA at the time.

No decision has been taken on an initial public offering, and chief executive officer Michele Norsa denied a report in the London Sunday Times in February that Ferragamo was looking to list in Hong Kong.

In July last year, the family-owned company appointed previous men’s wear designer Massimiliano Giornetti creative director for all product lines.

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