China, Roger Vivier and e-commerce strengthen the Tod’s group in the first quarter

MILAN – Triple-digit growth in China, good performance in Roger vivier brand and e-commerce helped Tod’s SpA reports a 17% increase in revenue in the first quarter of the year to 178.7 million euros, although analysts were particularly intrigued by a comment from Diego Della Valle, chief executive officer.

Addressing The acquisition by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton of additional shares in Tod’s last month, Reaching a 10% stake, as reported, Della Valle said in a statement that “this transaction consolidates the friendship” between himself, his family and French group leader Bernard Arnault and his family, which has lasted for more than 20 years. “We share the values ​​of luxury, quality and product appeal. This may be a great reason to consider other opportunities to seize together in the future. Despite the difficult global economic scenario, we are approaching the current year with enthusiasm and optimism, very convinced of our products and our strategies.

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During a conference call, analysts repeatedly asked CFO Emilio Macellari to clarify what Della Valle said.

“Although the sentence is self-explanatory, if the question is whether there is an agreement, an internal contract or just discussions about future cooperation, the answer is ‘no’,” replied Macellari, who emphasized ” shared values. luxury, quality and product appeal. the [increased] The stake is one more reason to assess potential collaborations in the future and if and when this happens, we will keep the market informed. There is potential but it does not immediately translate into a deal that has already been made or designed. There is nothing already decided or considered. “

Pressed further to explain, Macellari said that Della Valle “wanted to express the closeness between the leading actor in the sector, LVMH of course, and our own ability and expertise, sharing the same passion and the same attitude. We speak the same language and, as you know, Mr. Della Valle served on the board of directors of LVMH for 20 years, I think. This could generate opportunities to consider [initiatives], share spaces in shopping centers, production sites, but not all possibilities were on the table. There is already nothing [planned], but the reasonable possibility that something could be done together. “

LVMH increasing its stake in Tod’s last month immediately sparked speculation that the two groups could step up their cooperation – or that the increased concentration of ownership in the hands of Della Valle and Arnault would make it easier for Tod’s to withdraw its shares from the odds and escape the glare of the stock market.

Macellari was also asked to provide additional information on The appointment of Chiara Ferragni as a member of the board of directors of Tod’s, who was also revealed last month.

“First of all, it was really by chance that in a very limited period of time, two things seemed linked, his appointment to the board of directors and the sale of shares to LVMH in addition to the announcement of the appointment of Ms. Ferragni as brand ambassador. for Bulgari [which is owned by LVMH], but they are not related at all, ”said the CFO.

Macellari said Tod’s recognizes “a very particular skill” in the digital entrepreneur, in his “great expertise” in identifying and launching sustainability and solidarity projects or ESG activities, “and we consider it an added value. She is particularly able to speak to young people, who can become our customers and we must reach them to further improve our profitability. We do not target commercial collaborations with her as an ambassador or testimonial, we do not exploit her image. His contribution will be to help us understand the needs and the mentality of these clusters that we have to reach and that we have to talk to.

Della Valle also commented on the performance of e-commerce which was “still above our expectations”.

Managing Director Umberto Macchi di Cellere said e-commerce grew in the quarter at a very high double-digit pace, “even picking up on the current trend”, and stressed that this “was not only happening because of to increased demand. , but also thanks to the group’s increased ability to deliver, “offering more omnichannel services and the right infrastructure.” He called it “a real trend, and not just because of store closings”. Customers, he says, “are more comfortable with the channel.”

Della Valle said “excellent results” were reported “in parts of the world where we were able to keep stores open, while results were lower in countries in the Western world, penalized by long shutdowns. some stores. “

In the three months ended March 31, sales in Italy totaled 43.4 million euros, down 6.6% from the same period last year.

In Europe excluding Italy, revenues decreased 13.1% to 37.7 million euros.

Sales in the Americas fell 20.4 percent to 9.3 million euros.

Greater China was a positive, with revenues up 136.7% to 62.8 million euros.

Sales in the Rest of the World area increased 3.4 percent to 25.5 million euros.

the Roger vivier The brand, thanks to its greater exposure to the Asian market, was the best performer of the quarter, with revenue of 48.6 million euros, up 59% from last year. Macchi di Cellere said the label has additional growth opportunities in China and that, “in a neutral situation in the absence of external elements such as the pandemic, because it is so exclusive and positioned in the niche of the high-end market, it is considered to grant higher profitability than that of other brands. “

The Tod’s label achieved a turnover of 76.7 million euros, up 5.5% compared to the same period last year.

Hogan’s sales totaled 44.3 million euros, up 11.5%, and Fay fell 6.9% to 9 million euros.

“We are very satisfied with the performance of the Tod’s brand and the excellent customer feedback on the new collections, which increasingly combine the DNA of Italian craftsmanship and lifestyle with creativity and innovation”, continued Della Valle. “Roger vivier maintains [its] originality, with exclusive and highly desirable products, with enormous growth potential all over the world. The Hogan collections are very attractive and the Fay products are very attractive and ambitious. From this group of brands, supported by strong communication, we expect good news for the future. “

He concluded by saying that “being aware of the crucial importance of digital communication, we are making significant investments in assets and people to have a very solid and quality structure. Our factories are in order and all of our employees have shown dedication, professionalism and great courage in managing such a difficult time. For that, I am very grateful to them.

Footwear remained the main category of the group with a turnover of 148.1 million euros, up 19.8% compared to last year. Leather goods and accessories rose 8.8% to € 19.5 million. Clothing fell 1.3% to 11 million euros.

Retail sales increased 26.8% to 117.3 million euros, also driven by the e-commerce channel, while wholesale trade increased 1.9% to 61.4 million euros . The wholesale channel’s results benefited from a different delivery schedule between the two years, which partially offset the channel’s downsizing in place around the world.

As of March 31, the group had 300 own stores and 99 franchise stores.

“I’m really very confident in the future of this group, but we have to be disciplined and have a cautious approach, be consistent with the strategy that we are designing and implementing,” said Macellari. “2021 is a year of transition, we will not have the same profitability as 2019, even the top line is not aligned with 2019”, he said, expecting “a very good profitability l next year, closer to 2019 or even better. “

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