The parent company of K-Way, Kappa, Robe di Kappa, Superga and other brands reported aggregate wholesale-equivalent sales of €570 million for the first nine months of this year, an increase of 2.4 percent as compared to the first nine months of 2016. Sales by the group's commercial licensees increased by 1.7 percent. Consolidated revenues, including royalties, sourcing commissions and direct sales in the Italian market rose by 1.5 percent to €135.2 million.
The Kappa and Robe di Kappa brands revenues generated a sales increase of around 3.4 percent in the first nine months, partly driven by the launch of the “Kappa Kontroll” line in the upper-medium segment of the market. Turkey, Germany and Russia posted the best performances for these brands, with sales up by 66 percent, 35 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Sales grew by 19.4 percent in the Americas, mainly due to the new Chilean and Paraguayan licenses coming into full operation, solid sales growth in Brazil and Argentina and the positive reaction of the North American market to the “Kappa Authentic” label. The markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa continued to be impacted by political instability.
The K-Way brand reported growth of 9.8 percent overall, primarily driven by a 10 percent increase in the European market. Sales rose by 29 percent in France and 9 percent in Italy, also as a result of retail development. The brand now has nine stores in France and 30 in Italy. K-Way opened its first Parisian store in September, in the fancy Marais district of the capital. K-Way's sales in the Americas declined due to the phase-out of a North American license, but the company pointed out that agreements are being finalized with a new licensee to take over from 2018. Asia and Oceania reported growth, driven by the Taiwanese and South Korean markets. New shop-in-shops were opened at department stores in Seoul and Pangyo in South Korea.
The Superga brand saw double-digit or even triple-digit growth across a number of American markets, but the brand's sales were disappointing in the domestic Italian market, where they fell by 10 percent, and some Asian countries. Sales of the brand in Chile increased by 120 percent, while those in Argentina went up by 91 percent. The U.S. market continued to see double-digit growth, with sales of the brand up by 23 percent. Some European countries also experienced significant growth, especially the U.K. (+21%), the rest of Northern Europe (+39%) and Germany (+14%). Greece posted a 20 percent sales increase, indicating a recovery in that market. Sales grew by 66 percent in Turkey. The Asian market experienced a slowdown compared with the previous year, mainly in South Korea and Hong Kong. The extension of the distribution network supported the brand's growth in the Indonesian, Australian and Taiwanese markets. Sales in Asia overall decreased by 7.4 percent, with the performance in the third quarter extending the contraction already reported in the previous quarters.
Briko, which has been mainly distributed by the group on the Italian market since April 2016, saw sales increase by 49 percent in the first nine months of this year.
Based on the order book and projected royalties and sourcing commissions, the group expects a strong commercial performance in the fourth quarter. The company added, however, that this outlook is subject to exchange rate fluctuations and consumer confidence levels, which continue to be relatively weak in some areas, especially on the Italian market.
As reported, on July 31 BasicNet acquired Sebago, the American footwear brand, which is distributed in 90 countries worldwide. Based on an agreement valid until the end of 2017, BasicNet and Wolverine Worldwide, the brand's former owner, are jointly managing a coordinated transition.
In August, BasicNet completed the acquisition of the Briko brand, exercising an option. Also during the third quarter, the group signed a new agreement for the distribution of socks under the Superga brand in the U.S. and Canada, as well as new licenses for K-Way in Norway and the Netherlands. The group also began the process to identify new licensees for Sebago brand.
On the occasion of the Oct. 31 board meeting, Franco Spalla announced that he will leave the position of non-executive vice-chairman. Spalla will continue as a company director.