MILAN — Dolce & Gabbana saw growth of nearly 20 percent in profits and sales last year, overshooting an initial company forecast that its top line would grow at least 10 percent.
Earnings before interest and taxes for the year ended March 31 grew 19.3 percent to $102.1 million, while consolidated sales rose 19.6 percent to $674.1 million. The company did not release a net profit figure.
Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average exchange rates.
The company also managed to shave its debt to $59.3 million, or 50 million euros, from $109.1 million, or 91.9 million euros, a year earlier.
General affairs director Cristiana Ruella attributed the rising profits and sales to “healthy prudence” rather than to any particular product category or market.
She declined to give a precise forecast for the current fiscal year, but said growth will be “significant.”
“At this point, it’s difficult to quantify by how much, but it will definitely be a double-digit jump,” she said.
Returning to the figures for the year ended this March, Dolce & Gabbana said about 48 percent of its revenue came from industrial operations, while about 40 percent derived from retail activities and 12 percent from licensing agreements. Dolce & Gabbana’s licenses include those with IT Holding for diffusion line D&G’s apparel items, Marcolin for eyewear, Binda for watches and Euroitalia for fragrances.
Wholesale revenue for the year, which includes sales through directly operated stores, as well as those made through licensees, rose 17.7 percent.
Industrial investments came to $18.2 million, or 15.4 million euros, for the year, as the company initiated a plan to enlarge two factories in central and northern Italy. Communications expenses totaled $78.1 million, or 65.8 million euros, slightly higher than the $72.5 million, or 61.1 million euros, a year earlier.
Retail investments came to $15.7 million, or 13.2 million euros, down from $45.9 million, or 38.7 million euros, a year earlier. The company just cut the ribbon on a D&G store in London and a Dolce & Gabbana store in Madrid. The company is now focusing on China. In June, Dolce & Gabbana will open its first store in Hong Kong.
In the meantime, the company is mum on the future of two of its Milan stores, its accessories-only and Vintage boutiques on Via della Spiga. About a year after their highly touted openings, they are both shuttered and crawling with construction workers. Although it is believed they will remain Dolce & Gabbana sales points, it’s not clear which products will fill them.
“You will find out soon,” Ruella said.
— Amanda Kaiser