MILAN, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Italian luxury outerwear maker Moncler on Thursday forecast more growth in 2019 after a new product strategy based on faster-paced collections helped to produce a 19 percent increase in sales last year and boosted profitability.
Revenue last year rose to 1.42 billion euros ($1.62 billion), just above a Refinitiv SmartEstimate of 1.4 billion euros. Stripping out the impact of currency moves, sales rose 22 percent.
The group last year changed its strategy in favour of monthly product launches to keep up with the luxury fashion industry’s younger and more fickle customers.
Chairman and Chief Executive Remo Ruffini was optimistic even though the economic outlook was uncertain.
“We know that economic and geopolitical uncertainties could make the path steeper in the coming months, but I believe it is precisely in difficult times that one becomes stronger,” he said in a statement.
Moncler, which sells signature puffer jackets for as much as 1,000 euros, proposed a dividend of 0.40 euros per share on 2018 results, up from 0.28 euros the previous year.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to 500.2 million euros from 411.6 million euros, above expectations of 478 million euros, with core profit margins rising slightly to 35.2 percent. ($1 = 0.8787 euros) (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak. Editing by Jane Merriman)