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Moncler CEO sees scope for recovery in second half of 2021

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Remo Ruffini, chairman and CEO of the fashion company Moncler

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian puffer jacket maker Moncler does not expect sales to substantially recover before the second half of next year, Chief Executive Remo Ruffini told Reuters.

Makers of luxury handbags, clothes and jewellery have come under intense pressure with the global health emergency shutting stores, decimating demand and exposing the sector's reliance on Chinese tourists.

After a sales rebound in the third quarter, a new wave of restrictions being imposed in much of the western world in the run-up to the crucial holiday season is cooling hopes of a swift recovery.

"I don't see a situation that can change much in the first half of next year," Ruffini said in a phone interview late on Tuesday.

"My hope is that things will be very different in the second half. We have seen that when you reopen, consumers have a lot of energy, they want to return buying in the shops and online," he added.

"We were going well (in the third quarter), but if shops are closed again there is not much we can do. My hope is that from July 2021... there will be a return to normal, even if I am convinced it will be a new normal, not what we had before."

He warned that international travel may take 3 to 5 years to return to pre-crisis levels.

Revenues are expected to plunge by 15% this year, according to an analyst consensus distributed by the company, recovering next year to 1.64 billion euros ($2.00 billion), a touch above their 2019 levels.

"I see that when China reopened there was a boom, that in Europe people - even if it was just locals - returned to the shops when we reopened, so my top concern is making sure that we reopen, that the vaccine works and can be distributed all over the world."

($1 = 0.8198 euros)

(Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi and Silvia Aloisi, editiing by Giulia Segreti)