By Charlie Lunan

Moncler S.P.A. reported its revenues grew 23 percent to nearly $60 million in the Americas in the first half, thanks in part to the opening of its 13th U.S. store in San Francisco and shop-in-shops in finer U.S. department stores in New York.

The Italian maker of luxury outerwear and ski apparel reported revenues reached €52.5 million in the Americas, which was up 20 percent in currency-neutral terms from the first half of 2014. This came from solid growth in both wholesale and its direct-to-consumer channels. In February, Moncler opened shop-in-shops at a Bergdorf Goodman, Saks in New York City and a Neiman Marcus in Long Island.

Retail sales growth was driven by strengthening comparable store sales and accelerated in the second quarter with the opening of two stores, including its first in San Francisco. The company now operates 21 stores in the Americas, including 14 in the United States, where its newest store opened in Washington D.C. earlier this month. It also reopened a refurbished store in Miami during the period.

Founded as a skiwear brand in France, Moncler has expanded rapidly into fashion under its Chairman and CEO Remo Ruffini, an Italian who acquired the brand in 2003 and took it public in 2012. Though its roots are in winter sports, it is expanding into knitwear and footwear and now operates stores in such tropical destinations as Miami and Honolulu.

Moncler’s total revenues reached €346.5 million in the first half, an increase of 17 percent in both reported and currency-neutral terms.

Global retail sales grew 22 percent (22 percent currency) to €245.9 million, or 71 percent of revenue, thanks in part to same-store sales growth of 6 percent. Organic growth was aided by new store layouts that have enabled double-digit growth in knitwear sales. The company also said it saw good results with a footwear assortment it tested at five stores that will roll out to 25 more stores by September.

Wholesale revenue was up 7 percent (6 percent c-n) to €100.6 million, or 29 percent of revenue.

Adjusted EBITDA reached €78.3 million compared to €70.9 million in the first of half 2015 and adjusted EBITDA margin of 22.6 percent. Net income reached €33.6 million, or 9.7 percent of sales. Moncler ended the period with net financial debt of €84.9 million, down 51.5 percent from a year earlier.

Ruffini said the brand performed well in all markets across all distribution channels and expects the company to report better results for the full year thanks to expansion plans. In the North American wholesale channel, that will include shop-in-shops at a Neiman Marcus in Los Angeles and a Nordstrom in Toronto. The company plans to open a flagship Moncler store on Madison Ave. in New York City by fall, but expects to limit U.S. store openings in 2017 and 2018 to relocations.

“We are quite satisfied with the network that we’ve built as of today,” said Moncler Group Director Andre Tieghi.

Lead photo courtesy Moncler