Michele Norsa said the group had closed 2013 in line with its expectations, but that it was important to wait until Chinese New Year in January to make forecasts for the year.

“Travelling keeps being a strong driver of growth,” said Norsa singling out Chinese tourists to Europe and the United States. Chinese luxury consumers, who make up for almost one third of the market, are increasingly shopping abroad, partly thanks to simpler visa procedures in the United States and some European countries, according to consultancy Bain & Co.

A crackdown on giving luxury goods as gifts to win the favour of public officials in China has not affected Ferragamo’s core business, Norsa said.

“Shoes are our core category and in fact a shoe is not a gift, shoes are something you buy for yourself,” Norsa said.

The group reported net profit up 61% in the first nine months of 2013. Attracting cash-rich tourists is especially important in Italy, where timid signs of economic recovery should also have a positive impact on consumption in 2014, Norsa said.

“We need to attract tourists and not only Chinese, of course, I’m thinking about the Russians, the Middle Eastern the biggest potential is partially unexploited.”

Source: Reuters Business Insider