Bulgari reports improving trading and Basel boom

Necklace from Bulgari.

Jewellery sales up and watch sales stable in encouraging Q1 results.

Jewellery sales at Bulgari rose in the first quarter of 2010, while watch sales remained stable as the luxury brand reported improving trading and a boom in trading at BaselWorld.

Jewellery sales were up 11 percent year on year in the quarter. While watch sales registered a drop of 0.4 percent, Bulgari said that the watch sector was stable and that watch sales at its own stores had risen 16 percent.

Bulgari chief executive Francesco Trapani said that the brand had enjoyed strong order writing at international watch and jewellery fair BaselWorld in March 2010, with orders up 60 percent on the previous year. He added that the destocking that had affected Bulgair’s wholesale business has started to ease off.

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Across the Bulgari group turnover was up 12.6 percent to €199.1 million (£171.8 million) and gross margins remained on a par with 2009 at 63 percent.

Bulgari posted a net loss of €8.3 million (£7.2 million), which is a significant reduction on its 2009 first quarter loss of €29.3 million (£20.6 million). The group said that this improved profitability was the result of improving trading conditions and a strict approach to efficiency across the business that has reduced operating costs by 7 percent year on year.

Geographically, the Americas showed the biggest year-on-year rise in sales, up 48.6 percent. European sales also showed an improvement on 2009, up 5.6 percent. Elsewhere, sales in Asia rose 31.8 percent, the Middle East grew by 6.4 percent, Greater China rocketed 38.4 percent and Japan showed a decline of 7.6 percent.

Trapani said: “The positive indicators from the market in the first part of the year were confirmed by the results of the first quarter of 2010, which saw a general improvement in all product categories and in almost all of the geographical areas, with a contribution from directly owned stores and from the wholesale channel, which showed a general recovery after massive de-stocking over the last year.”

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