MILAN (Reuters) - Sales at Italy’s luxury group Salvatore Ferragamo (SFER.MI) rose for the second quarter in a row in the three months to June, driven mainly by consumers in China, confirming a recovery trend in the first part of the year.
Closely watched like-for-like sales rose 2.6% in the second quarter, accelerating from a 2.2% rise recorded in the three months between January and March, which marked the first increase after 10 quarters of falls.
Chief Executive Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi, a former Gucci executive appointed to head Ferragamo a year ago, has been seeking to revamp the leather goods brand by focussing on new products and digital communication.
In the first six months, total revenues increased 4.4% at constant exchange rates to 705 million euros (£646.2 million), a touch above analyst estimates.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 2.1% over the period to 119 million euros.
Analysts had expected 701 million euros in sales and 122 million euros in adjusted core earnings, according to Refinitiv’s SmartEstimates.
The company said on Tuesday it expected results in the second half of the year to be in line with the first half.
Chief Financial Officer Alessandro Corsi said in a conference it was “feasible” to meet forecasts it had compiled from analysts of 1.390 billion euros in revenues for 2019, up 3.2 % from a year earlier, and about 220 million for full-year EBITDA.
Refinitiv and other analysts’ estimates for the full year are slightly above these figures, at 1.4 billion for sales and around 230 million for EBITDA.
Sales growth in the first half of year was driven by Asia, Ferragamo’s main market, and in particular by China where the retail channel rose 16.3% at constant rates.
Le Divelec Lemmi said the group had seen a negative impact from protests in Hong Kong, a sensitive market for the group, at the end of June and in July. She said it was hard to estimate the demonstrations could affect regional sales.
The wholesale channel posted a strong performance in the first half of the year although U.S. department stores remained weak. In terms of product categories, handbags and fragrances outperformed footwear.
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Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Jane Merriman and Edmund Blair