Italy's Ferragamo sales and profits return to growth in first-quarter

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s luxury shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo posted the first signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2019 with closely watched like-for-like sales rising 2.2% after declining for ten quarters in a row.

Recently appointed Chief Executive Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi has been trying to attract younger clients focusing on digital communication and distribution while preserving its existing, more traditional customer base.

Total revenues grew 4.3% at current exchange rates to 317 million euros ($355.4 million) and adjusted core profit (EBITDA) totaled 34 million euros compared with 32 million a year ago, the company said on Tuesday.

Analysts had expected 315 million in sales and 34 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

Revenue growth was driven by the retail distribution channel and by China. Sales through the wholesale channel also returned to expand, supported by airport shops.

Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi, editing by Silvia Aloisi