(Updates with quotes, details from conference call)
MILAN, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Italian luxury group Brunello Cucinelli said on Tuesday it had a “very positive outlook” for its business in 2019, when it expects further double-digit growth in revenue and profit.
Sales and core profit at the group, known globally for its plush cashmere designs, have consistently increased in the last six years and its shares have risen more than fivefold since April 2012, when it first listed on the Milan bourse.
“In 2019 we see a double-digit growth in both our profits and our sales,” Chairman and Chief Executive Brunello Cucinelli said in a post-results conference call with analysts.
The group, head-quartered in the medieval hamlet of Solomeo, in the central region of Umbria, earlier explained that the forecasts were based on the “excellent performance” of the new Spring/Summer collections.
Results achieved in the first half of the year, on top of the sales of the fall-winter collection also allowed the group to confirm its full-year guidance of double-digit profit and revenue growth this year, the company said in a statement.
Debt at the end of the year will be in line with last year’s, when it was down to 15.7 million euros, the group’s Chief Financial Officer Moreno Ciarapica said.
Cucinelli explained that the group - known for its menswear and womenswear clothing alike - was now focusing on men’s suits and had launched a bespoke service for its male clients in 25 of its biggest stores around the world.
“Men’s business suits are the big theme for the future in menswear,” Cucinelli said, adding that his company, founded in 1978, was working “a lot” on cuts, combinations and materials for its designs.
“We have the impression that we have a great future when it comes to men’s suits,” he added.
Menswear in the luxury sector is attracting more attention than in the past, with clothing collections for men getting bigger and competing with ones for women.
The change comes at a time when fashion brands seek to broaden their customer base to appeal to younger clients, who are moving away from the traditional formal suit-and-tie looks in favour of more comfortable clothes.
Cucinelli said that homeware, leisure and travel accessories, which are cropping up more and more in the latest collections, were merely a way to show the fashion house’s taste, when asked whether these objects would play a greater role in the future.
“We work on them to give the brand an allure,” Cucinelli said.
Reporting by Giulia Segreti, editing by Alexandra Hudson and David Evans