Salvatore Ferragamo said that its sales fell by 30.6 percent to €220 million in the first quarter due to the impact of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. At constant currency rates, the top line was down by 31.4 percent.

The company said that it posted a “solid performance” in January in all its main markets, but sales increasingly deteriorated in February and March, first in China and Asia and progressively in Europe, North America and in the rest of the world.

In the retail distribution channel, sales were down by 28.6 percent on a reported basis and by 29.4 percent at constant exchange rates. The wholesale channel registered a decline of 33.7 percent, and fell by 34.8 percent at constant exchange rates. The channel also suffered from order cancellations, mainly in travel retail.

To better tackle the impact caused by the pandemic, the company has created a temporary executive committee comprising the chairman Ferruccio Ferragamo, the chief executive Micaela le Divelec Lemmi and the board directors Francesco Caretti, Diego di San Giuliano and Marzio Saà.

To reinforce its finances, Ferragamo has decided to cancel the €0.34 per share dividend on its 2019 results and to allocate €124.2 million to the company’s reserves. The company said that the distribution of a dividend on last year’s results could be re-evaluated when the economic situation is clearer. Ferragamo has also postponed its annual shareholders’ meeting to May 8 from April 21 because of the pandemic. Shareholders will not be allowed to attend but will be able to send proxies to a sole representative, Spafid, a unit of the merchant bank Mediobanca.