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Brunello Cucinelli’s ‘Gentle Luxury’ Propels 2023 Profits, Revenues

MILAN — “Gentle luxury, a symbol of beauty within measure,” are terms that Brunello Cucinelli stands by, rather than the ubiquitous quiet luxury. No matter the terminology, his luxury products are selling — and his namesake company closed 2023 with a net profit that climbed 42 percent year-over-year to 123.8 million euros.

The year 2024 has kicked off on a positive note as well and, based on fall 2024 orders, Cucinelli confirmed he expects sales to grow 10 percent, also for 2025, and that he expects 2023 sales will double by 2030.

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In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, revenues rose 23.9 percent to 1.14 billion euros, compared with 919.7 million euros in 2022. Operating profit climbed 39.4 percent to 187.4 million euros, compared with 134.4 million euros the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 22.5 percent to 326.3 million euros, with a margin of 28.6 percent on sales.

In 2023, sales in Italy rose 25.4 percent to 128.8 million euros, representing 11.3 percent of the total.

Revenues in Europe, excluding Italy, were up 13.5 percent to 299.3 million euros, representing 26.3 percent of the total. Sales in the Americas rose 20.8 percent to 404.4 million euros, accounting for 35.5 percent of the total. Sales in Asia soared 40.4 percent to 306.8 million euros, representing 26.9 percent of the total.

During a call with analysts on Thursday evening, chief executive officer Luca Lisandroni underscored that growth was achieved through “balanced markets.”

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 21: Brunello Cucinelli attends the Starbucks private dinner photocall during the Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2023/2024 on February 21, 2023 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pietro S. D'Aprano/Getty Images)

Contrary to some of his peers, he was upbeat about America and China, which he had just visited. “2024 is the first year of a new chapter of projects in China, we are very confident in an organic growth and in an increased development of both the retail and wholesale channels, in a gradual, long-term and more and more relevant expansion.”

He said the atmosphere in America is “very positive.” Lisandroni also remarked on a “progressive and constant growth of tourism, with an expanded variety of nationalities, the diffusion of luxury also outside big capitals and the growing importance of resorts. And Italy is increasingly attractive, he said.

Cucinelli reiterated that it is key to offer the same product globally, without dedicated collections depending on the country. “There must be one single image around the world,” he said.

Last year, retail sales rose 30.3 percent to 746.8 million euros, accounting for 65.5 percent of the total, lifted by a strong like-for-like performance and sellouts of the spring and fall 2023 collections.

As of Dec. 31, Cucinelli had 125 retail boutiques and 49 hard shops. Three directly operated stores opened last year, on Rome’s luxury shopping street Via Condotti; in Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates, and in Hong Kong’s New World Tower center.

Wholesale sales were up 13.3 percent to 392.6 million euros.

Investments in communication amounted to 78.9 million euros, compared with 52.2 million euros at the end of December 2022.

Annual investments amounted to 79.1 million euros, as part of the major three-year plan favoring artisan production, the distribution network and the brand image.

Commercial investments, amounting to 31.3 million euros, were focused on selected new openings, exclusive expansions and the regular renovation of showrooms and spaces of Casa Cucinelli. Other investments, amounting to 47.8 million euros were dedicated to industrial and production facilities, regular updating of information systems, and the development of new projects.

As per a three-year investment plan, the company is expanding its factory in Solomeo and building a new 48,600-square-foot men’s tailoring factory in Penne, in the central region of Abruzzo, historically a production hub that specializes in sartorial menswear. It will be completed in spring 2025 and will employ around 350 artisans.

Pending the completion of the new plant, operations started in a leased factory with 75 full-time workers, with the goal being 100 employees by the end of 2024.

As of Dec. 31, net debt stood at 6.1 million euros, compared 7.1 million euros at the end of December 2022.

Cucinelli’s daughters Camilla and Carolina, who already work in the company, were named vice presidents.

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