Ferragamo Sales Rise 20% Since June on Stronger Luxury Demand, CEO Says

Salvatore Ferragamo SpA, the Italian shoemaker, said sales have risen more than 20 percent since the end of June as shoppers who were cautious last year snapped up $1,200 lace-up boots and $2,850 woven calfskin handbags.

Luxury spending has returned more quickly than expected, Chief Executive Officer Michele Norsa said in a phone interview. Sales in the Florence, Italy-based company’s stores are “reacting even more quickly than wholesale,” Norsa said. He declined to provide growth rates by channel.

Sales of luxury goods are recovering as shoppers spend more and distributors restock inventories after the industry’s worst year on record. Companies including Hermes International SCA and Prada SpA posted double-digit revenue growth in the six months through June. Ferragamo’s sales grew more than 10 percent from February through May, Norsa said in July.

Post-recession luxury consumers are “looking for a product they can use for longer,” Norsa said. “There’s also a price consciousness that didn’t used to be there.”

Ferragamo’s third-quarter revenue growth is benefiting from a weak comparison basis, Norsa said. Growth may slow down in the fourth quarter because sales began to recover in the final three months of last year, the CEO said.

For the full year, “I’m reasonably confident but there are a lot of volatile elements for which I think it’s sensible not to make forecasts,” Norsa said, adding that favorable exchange rates may boost second-half earnings.

Ferragamo has about 570 stores around the world.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Roberts in Paris at aroberts36@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net.

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