After six years of sustained growth, Furla is slowing down. The Italian leather goods label with an accessible luxury market positioning generated a revenue of €513 million in 2018, though its sales slowed down noticeably in the second part of the year.
Last year, Furla’s sales grew 2.8% (+5.2% at constant exchange rates) over 2017, a financial year in which it had instead recorded an 18.5% sales rise (+20% at constant exchange rates), as the group indicated in a press release. In H1 2018, Furla’s revenue rose by 5.8% (+10.6% at constant exchange rates) compared to H1 2017.
Contrary to what Furla did in previous years, it did not disclose its profitability results. “After years of worldwide geographical expansion, the group is now focused on more selective growth and on product categories which are complementary to its core business,” stated Furla. Last February, the label in fact launched its first sneaker collection during the Milan Fashion Week, “supported by a significant, all-round marketing effort.”
Also, the group is about to deploy “an investment plan designed to consolidate the impetuous growth recorded in the last few years,” chiefly aimed at “strengthening the supply chain, the cultural and systemic integration of the countries where [Furla] is distributed directly and indirectly, and its technology capabilities,” added Furla.
Geographically, Furla grew in all of its main markets in 2018. In the Asia-Pacific region, which now accounts for 26% of the group’s total revenue, sales leaped by 18.2% at constant exchange rates. In recent months, Furla has taken direct control of its retail distribution in China, Hong Kong and Macao. In Japan, Furla’s single most important market with a 22% share of total sales, the Bologna-based label grew 3.6%. Furla also underlined its strong performance in the USA (where it generates 8% of its total revenue), where sales increased by 13.2%.
On the other hand, in the EMEA region the group simply stated “it is holding its position.” Furla also failed to provide details about the Italian domestic market which, with the rest of EMEA, accounts for 44% of the group’s total sales.
Furla’s e-tail channel also performed extremely well, with sales increasing by 45.7% at constant exchange rates in 2018. Furla’s website, which the label has been managing internally from its inception, was revamped last year, benefiting from investment aimed at facilitating access and browsing. E-tail currently accounts for nearly 8% of the label’s revenue.
In the travel retail channel, where Furla is present with 293 stores in 64 countries (between boutiques, retail corners and shop-in-shops) and generates 7.3% of its global sales, growth in 2018 was 16.2% over the previous year.
Furla was founded in 1927 in Bologna by the Furlanetto family, which stated to Reuters it intends to remain independent, despite the interest expressed by potential investors. Furla generates 70% of sales via its 490 monobrand stores, of which 285 are directly owned, 163 are franchised and 42 operate in the travel retail channel, across 98 countries. The label is also distributed via 1,200 multi-brand stores.
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