MILAN — Moncler is now part of the 2 billion euro club.
On Thursday, the group reported revenues that surpassed the 2-billion-euro mark, rising 44 percent compared with 1.4 billion euros in 2020, eight years after its initial public offering and through a global pandemic, its chairman and chief executive officer Remo Ruffini said proudly during a conference call with analysts.
Compared to 2019, sales rose 28 percent. In the fourth quarter, sales climbed 40 percent to 868.9 million euros compared with the same period in 2019.
“The year 2021 for Moncler can be summed up in three words: Group, vision and results. Group because the integration process with Stone Island has begun and is already yielding very positive results,” Ruffini said. “Vision because in this ‘never-normal world’ our vision remains solid and clear: We must continue to fuel and expand our communities, to integrate sustainability into every business decision and ensure that digital is increasingly the engine of change and evolution. And finally, results, because even in 2021 we achieved excellent results thanks to the ability of all our people to complete challenging projects always with great rigour and energy.”
Net profit climbed 37 percent to 411.4 million euros, compared with 300.4 million euros in 2020. Compared with 2019, it grew 14.7 percent from 358.7 million euros.
Ruffini also touted a free cash flow of 550.3 million euros, above pre-COVID-19 levels and compared to 195.5 million euros in 2020.
He approached the subject of the Russian invasion of Ukraine saying that “the events are touching all of us and I hope in prospects for a peaceful resolution.”
During the conference call with analysts, Roberto Eggs, chief business strategy and global market officer, responded to a question about the group’s potential dependence on Russia, given Moncler’s plant and operations in Romania. “This is very sad news and we were all hoping it would not happen. We have a store in Kyev and we are in close contact with our team there,” said Eggs, adding that Russia and Ukraine represent 2 percent of sales, deeming this “not material” for the group.
Luciano Santel, chief corporate and supply officer, also said it was “all very sad,” explaining that it was “difficult to predict” what could happen in Romania, given its closeness to Ukraine. “I can’t give an answer, our thoughts are close to the people there. I don’t see any impact on our supply chain in Romania.”
The group is doubling its plant in Romania, where production now accounts for 15 percent of the total. “We hope to exceed 20 percent next year and our ambition is to reach 30 percent in a couple of years,” Santel said. The country is where the majority of Moncler’s production takes place through a web of suppliers, he added.
Despite the uncertainty of the geopolitical moment and the global health context, Ruffini said the “important positive indicators” give him confidence for the future. Moncler in 2022 will celebrate 70 years of the brand. Also this year, Stone Island, which the group bought in 2020, will mark 40 years in business.
In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, sales of the Moncler brand increased 27 percent to 1.8 billion euros, and were up 14 percent on 2019. Like-for-like was up 23 percent on 2020.
The Stone Island brand logged revenues of 221.9 million euros for the nine months consolidated (April to December 2021). In the 12 months, they rose 35 percent to 310 million euros.
Ruffini was once again asked about potential acquisitions but he said “there is a lot to do with Stone Island, turning it into a direct-to consumer brand and we need time to redesign the organization. I am confident we can go straight to the customer in the mid-term and we need to concentrate on building a strong family. We are not planning anything, but if something happens like with Stone Island, [we shall see].”
Group operating profit amounted to 603.1 million euros, a margin of 29.5 percent, compared to 368.8 million euros in 2020 and 491.8 million euros in 2019.
In 2021, revenues in Asia rose 27 percent to 894.8 million euros compared to 2019. In the fourth quarter, Asia grew 39 percent compared to 2019, accelerating thanks to China and South Korea and the growth of Japan. In particular, the Chinese mainland continued to post almost triple-digits revenue growth also in the fourth quarter.
Roberto Eggs, chief business strategy and global market office, said the Beijing Winter Olympics had been an accelerator for a strong trend in winter sports in China, helping Moncler as “this is legitimate for our brand born in the mountains.” There are plans for a strong rollout of pop-ups in China in 2022.
South Korea continued to record strong results, outperforming the region’s average, while Japan returned to record double-digit growth rates, as opposed to previous quarters, also thanks to the easing of pandemic containment measures.
In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, sales amounted to 624.5 million euros, down 3 percent compared to 2019, but in the fourth quarter, they continued to accelerate, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 16 percent. Local customers, all channels and countries contributed to this result, and in particular the direct online channel continued to benefit from strong double-digit growth.
In the year, Italy generated about a quarter of the revenues of the region.
The Americas registered a sharp acceleration in the fourth quarter, with sales rising 31 percent compared to the last quarter of 2019, and they were up 20 percent in the year, driven by the direct-to-consumer channel in both the U.S. and Canada.
Chief brand officer Gino Fisanotti cited a focus on the U.S., touting “a strong reaction,” and opportunities in the region. There are now 26 stores in the U.S. and 10 shops-in-shop in the market, so there is growth potential, said Eggs, who has been increasing the number of concessions in department stores. Footwear is also seen as a strong opportunity in the U.S.
The group last year internalized its online business, which now represents 15 percent of the total. Fisanotti touted the level of engagement, and a 30 percent increase in traffic. The company is upping the level of digitalization in its stores.
Asked about price increases, Santel said they rose 10 percent with the fall 2022 collection, “in the face of production costs, hikes in the prices of raw materials and cost of labor,” but that the group has no plans to increase them for spring 2022. It is likely to raise them for spring 2023.
In 2021, Moncler’s direct-to-consumer channel grew 16 percent compared with 2019 achieving revenues of 1.4 billion euros. The fourth quarter registered a strong acceleration, up 31 percent on 2019 in the same period.
The wholesale channel was up 8 percent to 394.9 million euros on 2019. In the fourth quarter revenues of the wholesale channel grew by 19 percent on the same period of 2019.
Moncler has 237 directly operated stores and it operates 64 wholesale shops-in-shop.
EMEA is the largest region for Stone Island, contributing to 77 percent of revenues in the consolidated period. Italy is the main market in EMEA and accounts for about a third of the region’s revenues, followed by the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands. Asia contributed 13 percent of Stone Island revenues for the consolidated period and Americas the remaining 10 percent.
The wholesale channel represented 71 percent of total sales in the consolidated period.
As of Dec. 31, the network of mono-brand Stone Island stores was made up of 30 retail and 58 mono-brand wholesale stores.
In 2021, capital expenditure amounted to 124.7 million euros, up from 90.4 million euros in 2020, and substantially in line compared with120.8 million euros in 2019.
The company is planning a Capital Markets Day on May 5.