Ferragamo CEO sees improved growth outlook in H2, upbeat on China

Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:34am EDT
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By Lisa Jucca

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian luxury leather goods maker Salvatore Ferragamo expects group results to improve in the second half of 2014 from the first six months on the back of strong demand in China and in global travel retail, its chief executive said on Sunday.

Ferragamo, whose shoes were loved by Hollywood film stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, plans to add between 10 and 20 shops to its current network this year, four of them in new large Chinese cities, Michele Norsa said.

Ferragamo, which derives some three quarters of its revenues from shoes and bags, has a strong presence at key airports all over the world, making travelers an important customer group.

"We expect an improvement in the second part of the year," Norsa said at the group men fashion show in Milan, which featured casual smart attires dominated by shorts and shadows of brown.

"For China the medium-term outlook is extremely positive and growth in the travel retail market is still very rapid."

The group increased its annual sales at stores it operates directly in China by 10 percent in the first quarter, though geopolitical tensions between China, Japan and Vietnam had an adverse impact on its wider business in Asia, said Norsa.

He confirmed the group's full-year target of single-digit revenue growth despite persistent euro strength.

Norsa, who worked for rival Valentino before joining Ferragamo in 2006, declined to give more specific forecasts on how the business would progress in the second half of 2014.   Continued...

A shopper carries her purchases from the Salvatore Ferragamo boutique on Rodeo Drive, ahead of the Christmas festive season in Beverly Hills December 9, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser