Italy's luxury brands defy economic crisis

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Some of the biggest names in Italian fashion, including Salvatore Ferragamo, posted positive revenue growth in 2014. Salvatore Ferragamo photo: Shutterstock
14:02 CET+01:00
Italy’s luxury brands defied the country’s economic downturn to record impressive growth in 2014, according to the latest research by a Milan consultancy firm.

Studio Pambianco said some of the biggest names in Italian fashion, including Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s leather goods, cashmere king Brunello Cucinelli and eyewear giant Luxottica, posted positive revenue growth – ranging from slight to substantial - from worldwide sales in the first nine months of 2014.

The Milan-based studio, which specializes in market research and consultancy to fashion and luxury brands, said 11 leading Italian companies had posted total turnover of €12.4 billion in the first nine months of 2014, 1.5% higher than for the same period in 2013.

Profits before tax for these companies totalled €2.6 billion for the first nine months, up 21.4% in 2013.

Research showed that Luxottica, the world leader in eyewear production and distribution, posted revenues of nearly €5.8 billion ( + 2.1%) and Salvatore Ferragamo had recorded €957 million (+4.6%) in the same period.

Prada’s turnover for the first three quarters of 2014 was slightly down (0.9%) but the global fashion giant still posted revenues totalling €2.5 billion.

The research showed the fashion company’s profits remained strong despite protests in Hong Kong, while Brunello Cucinelli’s revenues were up 10.2% to €277 million.

Alessio Candi, a consultant with Studio Pambianco, told The Local that these luxury brands had weathered Italy’s economic crisis better than others.

He also noted the luxury brands had not suffered seriously from the downturn in two major emerging markets Russia and China.

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Meanwhile, annual sales were beginning earlier than expected across Italy on Friday in a bid to stimulate sluggish consumer spending, Italian news agency Ansa reported.

According to research by employer group Confcommercio, one in two Italians is expected to take advantage of discounted prices even though consumer spending at Italian sales fell 7.3 percent in 2014, Ansa reported.

Sales with 40 percent price cuts began in the southern regions of Basilicata and Campania on Friday and were expected to begin elsewhere in Italy on Saturday.

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