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(Reuters) -Revenues at Italian luxury down jacket maker Moncler topped analyst expectations in the second quarter helped by easing COVID-19 restrictions, adding to evidence of a sharp rebound in the sector.
Moncler more than doubled sales of its eponymous brand in the period, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, with the recent acquisition of high-end streetwear brand Stone Island Moncler further boosting group revenue starting from April.
Excluding the Stone Island's acquisition, Moncler's revenue jumped 118% to 200 million euros in the April-to-June quarter from the same period of last year, which was the hardest hit by the pandemic with shops shut and international travel brought to a standstill.
Compared with the second quarter of 2019, Moncler's sales were up 5% "even though the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact second quarter revenues especially in Japan and Europe", the company said on Tuesday.
The second quarter historically accounts for only a fifth of full-year sales due to the seasonality of the brand.
Stone Island's second-quarter sales totalled 56.2 million euros, Moncler said.
Consolidated revenues came in at 256.3 million euros in the quarter, above an average analyst forecast of 248 million euros, according to a consensus provided by the company.
Sales jumped in Asia in the quarter mainly driven by China and South Korea, marking a "double-digit growth" compared with the same quarter in 2019, while revenues are 40% above pre-pandemic levels in the Americas. Italy and the rest of Europe are still below pre-COVID levels.
The recovery in revenues helped the group return to profitability after the operating loss recorded for the first time in its history in the first half of 2020.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached 92.8 million euros in the first six months and net profit totalled 58.7 million euros, which compares with 47 million euros expected by analysts.
(Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; editing by Valentina Za and Alistair Bell)