Italian luxury group Cucinelli raises 2021 sales forecast again By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Brunello Cucinelli label is seen on a shirt at the factory in Solomeo village near Perugia, Italy, September 4, 2018. Picture taken September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

MILAN (Reuters) -Italian luxury group Brunello Cucinelli raised its 2021 sales guidance for the second time this year on Tuesday after revenues jumped in the three months to June, accelerating a recovery from the low point of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said revenues soared by almost 60% at constant exchange rates in the first half of the year to 313.7 million euros ($370.6 million) compared with the same period of 2020.

Against 2019 levels – before the pandemic hit – sales were up 10% in the first half and up 13.8% in the second quarter.

The brand known for cashmere clothing, which had already raised its sales outlook in March, said it now expected full-year growth of around 20% and an increase of around 10% in 2022.

In March it had forecast sales growth of 15-20% for 2021 and 9-10% for 2022.

Sales fell by 10% last year due to the fallout from the health crisis.

The group had posted a 7% increase in sales at constant exchange rates in the first quarter, with revenues coming in just 3% above 2019 levels.

Comparisons with the second quarter of 2020 are favourable for most retailers as it was particularly hit by the pandemic, with the bulk of shops worldwide closed.

Cucinelli is the first Italian luxury group to release second-quarter sales, and its performance adds to signs the sector has bounced back faster than initially expected.

The European market, which accounts for 43.7% of the company’s total sales, including Italy, grew by 9.2% compared to the first half of 2019. Sales growth in Asia was double that.

The company recently announced a partnership with EssilorLuxottica’s brand Oliver Peoples for the launch of its first eyewear collection.

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