January 28, 2020 / 5:20 PM / 24 days ago

Italy's Ferragamo returns to sales growth in 2019

FILE PHOTO: Italian luxury fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo's logo is seen at a store in Zurich, Switzerland October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian luxury group Salvatore Ferragamo (SFER.MI) met its guidance for the year with a slight increase in 2019 revenues, despite protests in Hong Kong that weighed heavily on fourth-quarter sales in the region.

The 1.3% yearly rise in sales at constant exchange rates marks the first annual revenue increase for the Florentine brand since 2015, in a sign that a turnaround plan under Chief Executive Micaela Le Divelec is starting to bear fruit.

A former Gucci executive, Le Divelec started as CEO at Ferragamo 18 months ago and has been working to rejuvenate the brand by investing in new products and digital marketing.

Revenues eased 0.1% year on year at constant exchange rates in the three months through December, with Hong Kong retail sales falling more than 50% after a 45% drop in the third quarter.

In the full year sales stood at 1.38 billion euros ($1.53 billion), in line with a Refinitiv analyst forecast.

Closely watched same-store retail sales rose by 0.2% in the last quarter, posting a 1.1% increase in the full-year.

Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Jan Harvey

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