Bulgari CEO says Europe to be tough
PARIS (Reuters) - Bulgari BULG.MI Chief Executive Francesco Trapani on Wednesday said he could not predict when sales would return to pre-crisis levels and forecast Europe would remain a difficult market in the medium term.
Speaking at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in Paris, Trapani said the impact of government austerity measures on discretionary spending in Europe would only be fully felt in 2011.
"We have to expect for Europe a medium-term period during which things will be difficult," Trapani said.
Bulgari is 51 percent family-owned and Trapani said there were no plans to relinquish control.
"We have not had any (takeover) proposal in our life," Trapani said.
The Rome-based company which makes jewelry, bags, watches and perfumes, said its 4-6 percent sales growth forecast for 2010 would be conservative if trading in the second half was similar to the first half.
Trapani said Bulgari planned to open 15-20 stores in greater China over the next three to four years, which meant about 4-5 shops annually.
Bulgari already has 35 monobrand stores in greater China.
"We are pushing growth in Asia because it is in Asia we are seeing potential," Trapani said.
(Editing by Louise Heavens)
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