Jan 19, 2015
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Ferragamo: Luxury group's December sales better than expected

Jan 19, 2015

Italian luxury group Salvatore Ferragamo's December sales outpaced its expectations due to growth in all of its markets, Chief Executive Michele Norsa said on Sunday.

Norsa also said a stronger U.S. dollar and falling prices for raw materials should help performance in 2015 although volatility would likely continue to affect consumer trends.

"We closed 2014, which was an eventful year, with a lot of volatility, with a very strong end of the year," he told reporters at the Milan stock exchange where Ferragamo showcased its Fall/Winter 2015 men's collection.

Sales in December posted "a very satisfactory performance, even better than our expectations", he said.

In November, Ferragamo said it expected sales in the last quarter of 2014 to grow at least in line with the first nine months, allowing it to match its 2013 core profit margin in the full year.

Sales at Ferragamo rose 4.6 percent at current exchange rates in the first nine months of 2014 to 956.6 million euros ($1.1 billion). They were up 6 percent at constant currencies.

Norsa dismissed concerns about consumer price trends in the euro zone, where inflation in December turned negative for the first time since 2009.

"We've been living in the past years with inflation below 2 percent. Now, between 0.5 and 1.2 percent the difference is not that relevant. I believe what is more important is consumer confidence," he said.

He pointed to the higher number of visitors to the recent Pitti Uomo menswear trade fair in Florence. Pitti Uomo drew 15 percent more buyers this year compared with 2014, according to organisers.

Travel retail would continue to drive growth in 2015, he added. The Florentine group has the highest exposure in its sector to travellers spending in places such as airports.

Norsa said the Russian market accounted for less than 1 percent of Ferragamo's sales and saw little impact from the country's financial crisis.

"We are maybe more concerned (about) the lack of Russian tourist customers around the world," he said.

€1 = $1.16/£0.76

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