Moncler returned to growth in the fourth quarter, growing by 8 percent to €675.3 million, led by Asia and the Americas. On a constant-currency basis, they improved by 7 percent. The company benefited from the strong expansion of the Chinese market, growth in Korea and Japan, plus a robust e-commerce business.

Despite this good finish to 2020, revenues for the full year were off by 12 percent to €1,440.4 million, or by 11 percent in constant currencies. Wholesale revenues declined by a lower rate of 5 percent to €350.9 million, representing 24.4 percent of the total turnover for the year. In the fourth quarter, they surged by 31 percent in constant currencies.

Because of the retail lockdowns, especially in the first part of the year, Moncler’s full-year retail sales fell by 13 percent to €1,089.4 million. Same-store sales finished the year down by 18 percent. During the fourth quarter, retail sales progressed by 5 percent in constant currencies, boosted by China.

The number of directly operated stores was up to 219 units by Dec. 31, 2020, which was 10 more than on Dec. 31, 2019. The company also operated 63 shop-in-shops at wholesale accounts, one fewer than last year. Meanwhile, the online channel continued to register double-digit growth in the fourth quarter.

Regionally, sales fell by 34 percent in Italy last year, representing 8.6 percent of total revenues. In constant currencies, they were off by 18 percent in the rest of the EMEA region and by 15 percent in the Americas. Conversely, sales rose by 2 percent in Asia.

The drops in Italy and the rest of EMEA were partly due to a lack of foreign travelers. In the latest quarter, the local demand remained solid. Germany, Russia and Scandinavia outperformed the rest of the region.

Overall, the company’s gross margin decreased by 2.1 percentage points to 75.6 percent, negatively impacted by the pandemic’s effect on revenues, which caused inventory write-downs for the spring/summer 2020 collections. The Ebit margin fell by 4.6 percentage points to 25.6 percent. Net income declined by 16 percent to €300.3 million.

As previously reported, the company announced on Dec. 6 that Stone Island is joining its brand portfolio this year, with a view to helping it penetrate what it calls the “new luxury” segment, characterized by “experientiality” and “inclusivity,” which appeals to the younger demographic. Moncler also plans to help Stone Island to expand internationally, especially in the Americas and Asia, and through the direct-to-consumer channel. Carlo Rivetti, who will continue to run Stone Island independently, and other shareholders of its parent company, Sportswear Company, are set to receive the equivalent of €1,150 million in cash and shares.

Moncler did not release any guidance for 2021.