Safilo closed the first quarter of the year with a significant recovery compared to the same period of 2017 and a return to normal operating conditions, recording strong growth rates in the European markets and in the emerging countries which had been meaningfully impacted last year by the difficult start-up of the new information system in the Padua distribution center. Excluding the impact from the weaker USD, sales in North America remained soft, in particular due to the still difficult business environment in department stores.
Net sales equaled Euro 250.9 million ($383 million CAD), up 6.9% at current exchange rates and 15.4% at constant exchange rates, compared to Euro 234.6 million ($358 million CAD) in Q1 2017. The Brand Portfolio, up 16.9% at constant exchange rates, excluding Gucci business, was enriched by the launch of the new licenses, Moschino, Love Moschino and rag & bone.
Gross profit reached Euro 127.5 million ($195 million CAD), up 9.1% compared to Euro 116.8 million ($178 million CAD) in the first quarter of 2017. Gross margin increased to 50.8% of net sales compared to 49.8% in Q1 2017.
Sales in North America were Euro 94.8 million ($143 million CAD) compared to Euro 114.5 million ($175 million) in Q1 2017, down 17.2% at current exchange rates due to the sharp depreciation of the Dollar against the Euro. At constant exchange rates, the wholesale revenues decreased by 5.5%, mainly reflecting the persistence of a weak and changing business environment in department stores.
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