MILAN — Furla continued to buck the trend in 2015.
This story first appeared in the February 16, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Despite a challenging market for accessories, the Italian firm closed the year with a 30 percent rise in revenues. In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, Furla reported sales of 339 million euros, or $376.3 million, compared with 262 million euros, or $ 348.4 million, in 2014. At constant exchange rates, sales climbed 25 percent.
Chief executive officer Eraldo Poletto told WWD that the growth was fueled by “an excellent growth across all areas and all channels,” but highlighted an increase of 23 percent in like-for-like sales. “In a difficult context, this is the mother of all numbers,” said Poletto, noting that Furla is reaping the rewards of the work done in the past five years. Revenues have grown 126 percent since 2010. Earnings figures are to be approved by the company’s board and were not available at press time.
The executive touted Furla’s “unique premium luxury positioning of Made in Italy products,” in the face of a middle class that is growing in Asia. “We borrow from luxury what is good about luxury, the customer experience, the quality, packaging, [customer relations management],” he said.
While all geographic markets grew, Poletto said, “We look at the customer more than the market, to the Asians that travel to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Europe. The scenario changes constantly.”
In 2015, the Asia-Pacific region posted a 53 percent jump in sales, accounting for 19 percent of the total. Furla doubled its business in China last year, said Poletto, where sales were up double-digit. In Hong Kong and Macau, revenues showed a high single-digit growth.
Revenues in the U.S. rose 30 percent, representing 9 percent of sales. Furla is expanding in the region. Poletto highlighted the opening of a flagship last year in New York’s Fifth Avenue and the appointment of Scott M. Link as chief executive officer of Americas.
Italy was up 21 percent, accounting for 20 percent of the total. Poletto noted an increased energy in Milan, following the international show Expo last year. “An optimistic mind-set helps to win. The market is so dynamic now that it’s key to be ready to be receptive without changing one’s strategy,” he observed.
Business in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, excluding Italy, gained 28 percent, representing 29 percent of the total. Sales in Japan increased 24 percent, accounting for 23 percent of the total.
Last year, Furla continued to expand its retail network globally with the opening of 62 stores, bringing its monobrand boutiques to a total of 415.
In 2015, Furla opened flagships in Rome; New York, on Fifth Avenue; Madrid; St. Petersburg; Shanghai ,and Hong Kong. Poletto highlighted the position of the Rome unit in a historic 19th century palazzo overlooking the Spanish Steps. The store, covering 3,240 square feet over two floors, has two windows on the street and seven windows on the first level with a view of the iconic monument.
In 2016, the company will open units in Moscow; London; Paris; Melbourne, Australia; Saigon, Vietnam; and Macau, as well as the first corner in Europe dedicated to the men’s collection at the Galeries Lafayette, in Paris.
Travel retail sales advanced 36 percent in 2015 throughout 48 countries where airport doors increased to 195 compared with 174 in 2014. This channel has tripled its sales since 2010. As of Feb. 5, the company counted 235 doors.
Furla’s performance last year was also boosted by the brand’s new categories–a men’s line, women’s footwear and the eyewear license with De Rigo. Furla has also signed licensing agreements with Ratti and Morellato for textile accessories and watches, respectively.
The Bologna-based firm produced two million pieces last year.
Once again, Poletto said that no steps have been taken to enter the stock market.