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Mar 9, 2021
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Ferragamo flags China-driven sales rise after 2020 loss

Reuters API
Mar 9, 2021

Italian luxury goods group Salvatore Ferragamo said on Tuesday that China and e-commerce had lifted 2021 sales so far, after posting its first full-year operating loss since listing in Milan 10 years ago, because of the pandemic.

Salvatore Ferragamo - Fall-Winter2021 - Womenswear - Milan - © PixelFormula

Deputy Executive Chairman Michele Norsa, a long-time executive who was brought back onboard by the Ferragamo family last year to steer the group through a turbulent phase, told analysts in a call that he expected sales in China to keep growing by a double-digit percentage.

Asia is Ferragamo's largest market, accounting for more than half of group revenues.
Sales at the luxury shoe and handbag maker fell 33% in 2020, one of the worst performances in an industry grappling with shop closures intended to curb coronavirus contagion as well as a lack of tourists.

Ferragamo said the first nine weeks of 2021 had seen a positive trend in its retail network and an 86% jump in digital sales. China and Korea are both performing strongly, it said.

Earnings before interests and taxes (EBIT) slumped to a 62 million euro ($74 million) loss in 2020, from a 150 million euro profit in 2019, due also to impairment charges booked on assets such as property and machinery.

Analysts had on average expected a 64 million euro EBIT loss for 2020 in a Refinitiv consensus forecast.

The virus crisis has complicated efforts to revamp the brand by Chief Executive Micaela Le Divelec, whose term expires in April, and there is speculation that management may be overhauled.

Two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday the situation was still uncertain in that respect.

Norsa told analysts he could not comment on possible management changes, and that a "normal process" was taking place "in continuity and harmony" ahead of the annual meeting to appoint a new board of directors.

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