Armani bounces again from pandemic as gross sales rise 34% in first half By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Italian fashion company Giorgio Armani can be seen in a store in Zurich, Switzerland on July 8, 2021. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann / File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) – Giorgio Armani’s sales rose 34% in the first half of 2021 as business in China and the United States helped the Italian fashion group bounce back, though it said it could be next year fully recovered from the pandemic.

“The goal is to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022, with … over € 2 billion in direct consolidated revenue,” Chairman and CEO Giorgio Armani said on Sunday in a statement setting out the 2020 results and the trend for January-June were announced.

The luxury company said consolidated net sales fell 25% to 1.6 billion euros ($ 1.9 billion) last year, with most of the decline occurring in the first half of 2020.

Sales of luxury goods around the world fell sharply last year for the first time in years as the pandemic forced store closings and virtually paralyzed international tourism.

“The decline in sales in 2020 should not only be read as a consequence of the pandemic … but also in line with Giorgio Armani’s own strategic principle ‘less is more’,” said Armani Deputy Managing Director Giuseppe Marsocci.

The Milan-based corporation did not provide the value of total sales from January to June, but said the positive sales trend this year so far points to a much better profitability scenario for 2021.

For the entire past year, the group achieved a consolidated profit of 90 million euros, but an operating loss (EBIT) of 29 million euros.

The financial situation improved significantly in the first half of the year with a net liquidity of 1.088 billion euros, it was said on Sunday, “in order to ensure the financial resources necessary for the medium to long-term stability and growth of the group”.

Speculation about succession plans at Armani has come to the fore recently, especially after the 87-year-old designer said he might consider working with another Italian company.

Sources told Reuters earlier this month that John Elkann, scion of the Italian Agnelli family, was investigating a possible link as part of plans to build a luxury conglomerate.

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