TOD’S SALES UP 15%

MILAN — Driven by soaring sales of leather accessories, Tod’s SpA saw sales rise 15 percent, to $229.9 million in 2000.
The company, which went public last November, said in a statement that sales of leather goods rose 50 percent compared with last year. (Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange.)
Also contributing to the double-digit top-line growth were introductions of new products in new markets and expansion of the company’s retail network. The company released preliminary figures this week and will report audited results, including its profits, at the end of March.
“These results allow us to look to the future with optimism and great potential for growth,” said president Diego Della Valle.
The statement said sales in the Far East grew 58 percent and those in the U.S. rose 27 percent as Europe registered growth of 22 percent. Italy still generates the lion’s share of Tod’s sales, although in 2000, it accounted for 50 percent, compared with 55 percent the year before.
Paola Durante, an equities analyst for Merrill Lynch in Milan, said Tod’s sales were 3 percent higher than her projections and “above the company’s estimates.”
She also said Tod’s was currently performing better than many companies in the sector: its profit margin based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is 19, compared with the sector’s average 16.
Tod’s shares closed on the Italian stock exchange at $40.23, down 0.38 percent.
In 2000, Tod’s opened 13 new directly owned points of sale, and has six planned for this year, most of them outside Italy. Tod’s generates 61 percent of total sales, followed by Hogan with 25 percent and Fay with 14 percent. Shoes account for 74 percent of sales, accessories 12 percent and apparel the remaining 14 percent.

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