According to Geox, the results for the first half of the year were mainly affected by performance in the first quarter, which was characterised by lower discounted sales and a delayed start to the spring season, and by the ramp-up of the rationalisation programme for mono-brand stores, especially with regard to franchised stores, whose network has been reduced by approximately 20% over the last 18 months.
Sales in Italy, representing 30% of Group revenues totalled €124.3 million in the period, against €137 million a year ago (-9.3%), mainly attributed to the optimisation of the mono-brand store network (48 net closures in 2017 and 13 in the first half of 2018) and to the unusual weather conditions. Sales in Europe, representing 43% of Group revenues, amounted to €179.9 million, (H1 2017: €198.9 million, a -9.6% decline, while sales in North America stood at €24.1 million, down -15.1% (-9.9% at constant). The Rest of the World recorded a -1.1% decline in turnover compared with the first half of 2017 (+2.3% at constant rates).
The brand says it has taken steps to speed-up the development of its communication strategies, focussing on the use of digital media, the role of social media, contemporary language and design, and content that is more in line with the brand’s core values. “Investments in communications and marketing, which are essential for the strengthening of the brand, began to increase again”, said Matteo Mascazzini, CEO, Geox, who was appointed to the role in February. “In the first half of 2018, the Group continued and strengthened its initiatives to improve margin performance, to implement a lean and more efficient structure and processes, and to control operating costs”.
The Group says it remains prudent when forecasting revenues and operating result for the full-year; although an improved sales trend is expected in the second half, as well as an improvement in percentage gross margin, it seems very challenging that these factors will also be able to compensate for the decline in sales recorded during the first half of the year.