Good collections and the group’s heavy investments in the build-up of its network of directly owned stores are finally paying off. Group sales increased by 33.0 percent to €140.4 million in the 1st quarter ended March 31, or by 34 percent in constant currencies, surprising analysts and generating net income of €12,913,000, or 162.7 percent more than in the same period a year ago.

The gross margin is up to 35.3 percent from 34.4 percent. Operating margins improved from 15.8 to 20.3 percent before amortization and depreciation (Ebitda), and from 7.4 to 14.3 percent after these charges (Ebit).

On the sales side, the Tod’s brand showed growth rates of 30.9 percent in euros and 32.5 percent in local currencies, representing 54.7 percent of consolidated sales. The Hogan brand grew by 38.6 percent in euros to 28.6 percent of sales. Even Fay, the apparel brand that had been lagging behind lately, recorded a sales increase of 28.4 percent.

In terms of the various product categories, footwear revenues rose by 31.2 percent in euros and 32 percent in constant currencies to €92.4 million, or 65.8 percent of consolidated sales. Leathergoods and accessories were up by 40.5 percent. Apparel revenues rose by 30.5 percent.

Geographically, sales increased in euro terms by 35.9 percent in Italy, by 29.9 percent in the rest of Europe, by 13.3 percent in North America, and by 48.8 percent in Asia and the rest of the world. In terms of local currencies, North America was up by 18.7 percent, while Asia and other countries recorded a jump of 52.5 percent.

Wholesale revenues, which are particularly strong at this time of the year, expanded by 37.4 percent during the period. Retail sales increased by 26.2 percent in euros and by 28.2 percent in local currencies, with a 13 percent gain on a same-store basis, and the progress continued during the month of April. The group had a total of 105 stores in operation by March 31, plus 36 franchised stores. Five new franchises were added during the quarter, including the third one in China, in the city of Hangzouh.