BULGARI WARNS 2001 SALES NOT AS VIGOROUS AS 2000
Byline: Samantha Conti
MILAN — Bulgari registered spectacular sales advances in 2000, but the company cautioned that its growth this year might be a bit less dramatic.
The Italian luxury jeweler and retailer said Wednesday that, powered by double-digit growth across all regions and in all product categories, net revenue in 2000 rose 40 percent to $632.4 million. Francesco Trapani, Bulgari chief executive, said however that sales would not be as vigorous in 2001.
Dollar figures have been converted at current exchange.
“Last year, all aspects of the business came together,” he told WWD in a phone interview. “Everything was moving in the right direction. Growth this year will not be as strong, although analysts are expecting a 20 percent rise in sales and profits — despite the less favorable economic environment.”
He added that Bulgari would release its full-year results, including earnings, at the end of March.
Bulgari said in a statement that sales in the Far East grew more than 55 percent, followed by Italy and the Mideast (over 40 percent), Japan and Europe (over 35 percent) and the Americas (30 percent). Sales swelled in all product categories: jewelry (over 45 percent); watches (over 40 percent); perfumes (over 25 percent); and accessories (over 50 percent).
Claire Kent, a luxury goods analyst with Morgan Stanley in London, said Bulgari’s sales were “slightly ahead” of the bank’s expectations, despite a slowdown in the U.S. market and in the jewelry division. “We expected sales in that area and category to be stronger. That said, they were being compared to the difficult base of 1999.”
Kent said her projection of 20 percent growth for Bulgari this year was “above average” for the luxury industry as a whole. Other luxury goods companies, she said, can expect “low-double or high-single-digit growth.”
Twelve new Bulgari stores were opened last year, bringing the total number of single-brand sales outlets to 99. Of those, 72 are wholly owned and 27 are franchises. The company also increased the number of travel retail outlets (duty free, cruise ships, tax free ports) to 27 from eight.
In addition, Buglari products are currently carried by 600 watch retailers and in 10,000 perfume doors.
Last year, Bulgari also launched the B.zero1 ring, the female fragrance BLV, and the Rettangolo watch, among other products.