First quarter sales at Italian fashion group Moncler jumped by 60 percent, beating once again analysts expectations, driven by a strong performance in China that offset new Covid-19 restrictions, as well as a surge in US and online sales.
The luxury outwear maker will hold an investor presentation on Thursday, its first since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the acquisition of streetwear brand Stone Island in 2020.
Overall revenues for the three months to end March totalled €589.9 million ($622 million), up 60 percent from the same period a year ago and above an analyst consensus for €564 million provided by the company.
Moncler, like most other rivals, has seen sales boom in Europe and the United States as Covid-19 restrictions eased but faces a setback in the key Chinese market where a strict lockdown has been imposed in the luxury hub of Shanghai and other cities since March.
On Wednesday it said around 30 percent of its main brand’s stores in China were currently closed because of the restrictions, up from 10 percent in March. Sales in the country posted double-digit growth in the first three months of the year.
Just over a third of Moncler’s retail sales came from China last year but the brand is less exposed than rivals as most of its first quarter sales take place in January and February, according to analysts, and the second quarter is seasonally less important for the group’s annual earnings.
Global quarterly sales of the main Moncler brand, known for its puffer jackets and outdoor clothing, grew by 29 percent at constant exchange rates to €473.4 million in the quarter, compared with an average analyst estimates of €459 million.
Stone Island, consolidated in the group’s accounts since April, booked sales of €116.5 million sales compared with €105 million expected by analysts.
The impact of the war in Ukraine and rising inflation are also themes dominating investor sentiment.
“I remain optimistic about the future”, chairman and chief executive Remo Ruffini said in a statement.
UBS analysts said the group was set to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the return of tourism to Europe, adding that the six months from March to August account for just one third of its yearly sales, thus mitigating the possible risk of prolonged lockdowns in China.
By Claudia Cristoferi
The chief executive of Moncler said that he did not expect consolidation in the Italian fashion market due to a deep history of family ownership of companies, but indicated that he was not constrained by this culture.