MILAN — Brunello Cucinelli topped the guidance for year-end revenues at his namesake company twice over.
Last month, Cucinelli, the brand’s executive chairman and creative director, said he expected a 28% growth, up from 25% in October, as reported. But on Monday, preliminary 2022 sales showed an even bigger sales gain of 29.1%. In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, revenues reached 919.5 million euros, compared with 712.2 million euros in 2021.
Cucinelli said 2022 was “undoubtedly our breakthrough year,” not only because of the sales growth but because “at the same time the brand image was strongly consolidated worldwide.”
In light of the strong spring orders and the “extraordinary start” of the fall 2023 sales campaign, he said he expects “an excellent year,” confirming his previous forecast of reaching sales of 1 billion euros in 2023, representing 12% growth.
Cucinelli reiterated that he expects 10% growth in 2024 to be “reasonable,” and that revenues can be doubled “significantly in advance of the initial schedule of the 10-year plan that began in 2019, which had considered reaching this goal in 2028.”
In 2022, sales in Italy rose 21.8% to 102.6 million euros, accounting for 11.1% of the total. Cucinelli defined these as “superb” results, boosted by the company’s retail channel and the performance of its multibrand partners, “who visibly could be seen to have returned to invest confidently in their businesses.”
Revenues in Europe, excluding Italy, rose 20.4% to 263.8 million euros, representing 28.7% of the total, driven by “great strength of demand” in large capital cities as well as provincial towns; by the return of international tourism, particularly from North America, and “year-round efforts to enliven” its boutiques and those of its multibrand partners “through small events that have met the great desire of many customers to return to experience physical stores.”
Sales in the Americas jumped 40.5% to 334.7 million euros, representing 36.4% of the total, confirming the strength of the market for the brand.
“Demand related to high luxury has not only been consolidating, but has fully confirmed those ‘structural’ characteristics that have contributed to the great growth achieved, and we believe can contribute to the further growth we expect in the coming years,” said Cucinelli in a statement issued at the end of trading in Milan, where the company is publicly listed.
Revenues in Asia increased 28.1% to 218.4 million euros, accounting for 23.8% of the total.
Cucinelli remarked on the “very high potential” for the brand in the region in the medium to long term and pointed to the “growing appeal” of the label in China.
“We think that the relevance of the no-logo and ready-to-wear offerings is definitely increasing in China, and we are delighted to see an increasing number of customers coming into our stores looking for both specialty garments and somewhat more everyday clothing.”
Cucinelli observed that the idea of humanistic capitalism and the values of human sustainability are increasingly a “pronounced focus” as is “gracious growth and the search for the right balance between profit and gift. The very concept of living in harmony, which inspires us to radically rethink humankind’s relationship with nature, we imagine may in fact find some connection with Confucian thought, emphasizing a contemporary dialogue between peoples.”
Business in Japan, South Korea and the Middle East is accelerating with “excellent relative growth trends.”
In the year, the retail channel was up 36.6% to 573.3 million euros, representing 62.4% of the total. The jump was boosted by like-for-like growth, with “very good” sellout figures.
As of Dec. 31, the number of retail boutiques totaled 119, up from 114 in the previous year, and the number of hard shops stood at 42, unchanged from the end of 2021.
Revenues from the wholesale channel showed an increase of 18.4% to 346.1 million euros, representing 37.6% of the total.
As reported, Cucinelli will receive the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion in Paris on March 4 during the city’s fashion week.
“This recognition crowns a very long-standing and mutually successful partnership based on reciprocal esteem and constant interaction,” said Cucinelli.
The entrepreneur has continued to invest in the company even throughout the two pandemic years, and investments in 2022 amounted to about 73 million euros. In addition, the company paid 15.05 million euros for the acquisition of a 43% stake in longtime supplier Lanificio Cariaggi Cashmere.
During 2022, Cucinelli also oversaw the purchase of an extensive area on the outskirts of Solomeo to further expand its factory in the coming years.
“The solid corporate structure and cash generation related to operating activities, as well as sound net working capital management, have enabled us to sustain our investment project and dividend distribution policy with a payout of 50%,” said Cucinelli.
As of Dec. 31, net debt stood at about 8 million euros, compared with 23 million euros last year.
This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.