More people are shopping Versace than you may have otherwise guessed. The Italian fashion house, which aims to list on the stock market next year, said core profit rose 20 percent for 2015, helped by strong growth in online sales, a weak euro currency and solid demand for its high-end collection. Chief Executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris said in a statement on Thursday that the group expected revenue growth in 2016, as well, despite "uncertain conditions in the first quarter of the year.”
Group revenue jumped 17.5 percent in 2015 to 645 million euros ($720 million), helped by currency moves. At constant exchange rates revenue rose 8.6 percent, with a 16 percent rise in China and a 30 percent increase in Europe. Sales of Versace's most exclusive line increased by over 23 percent last year by value while accessories, for both men and women, accounted for half of retails sales. Ferraris said that the brand, popular among celebrities worldwide, had proven resilient despite negative conditions in the international luxury goods market.
As reported last year, Versace is expected to seek a stock market listing by mid-2017 after the Versace family sold a 20 percent stake to U.S. private equity group Blackstone. In addition to its profit report, Versace, which has been expanding its retail network after Blackstone's investment, announced that it plans to invest more than 50 million euros in new retail outlets, existing boutiques and further developing its online business where sales surged 31 percent in 2015.
(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Susan Fenton)