The Italia Independent Group delivered positive results for 2020, in line with the group´s turnaround plan that calls a return to net profit by 2023. In reported terms, total sales increased by 46.1 percent year-on-year to €11.3 million and the group’s EBITDA almost reached the break-even point.
The 46 percent jump in overall revenues was mostly attributable to revenues in the “Other” product category which went up from €0.7 million in 2019 to €4.0 million last year, including the result of discounted sales of previously written-off inventory for a total value of €2.5 million. However, the group’s revenues also rose significantly in its core wholesale eyewear business, increasing by 17.6 percent year-on-year to €7.1 million, representing about two thirds of total sales.
The company mentioned progress in its product rotation management and new commercial policies as explanations for this positive trend in spite of the Covid-19 crisis. The streamlining of the portfolio with a renewed focus on the Italia Independent and Hublot brands, as well as the launch of another house brand, Laps, and the new CR7 license, by the name of the Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, also contributed positively to the topline figure.
Retail sales dived from €828,000 in 2019 to €54,000 in 2020, following the closure of all its directly managed and franchised stores as part of the group’s restructuration plan. The only remaining retail location of the group is the showroom that was opened in Milan at the end of last year. Direct e-commerce sales progressed by 17.5 percent year-on-year, however, at €195,000, it accounts for less than 2 percent of the group’s sales. This ratio is expected to increase in the future as digitization has been identified as one of the priorities.
By region, sales in the core eyewear segment progressed by 23.7 percent year-on-year to €4.1 million in Italy and by 69.9 percent to €2.4 million in the rest of Europe. Both regions now represent almost 95 percent of Italia Independent Group’s core eyewear revenues as sales in the rest of the world plummeted to less than €0.6 million in 2020 from more than €1.3 million in the previous year. In particular, revenues in the APAC region went down from €532,000 in 2019 to €43,000 last year.
The Italia Independent Group reported a slightly negative EBITDA of €0.03 million in 2020, almost breaking even which represents a major improvement from the negative EBITDA of €5.99 million registered in 2019. The company also highlighted that this result was ahead of its turnaround plan that forecasted a negative €0.99 million EBITDA for last year. Net result also significantly decreased to €2.8 million in 2020 from €14.3 million the year before. Besides the positive sales’ momentum, the group managed to improve its profitability by lowering its operating expenses from €10.5 million in 2019 to €6.8 million in 2020 through reduced marketing and personal costs as well as government support plans.
In March, the group completed another capital increase that was subscribed at 99.99 percent, for a total value of about €7.8 million. The shareholder structure remains largely unchanged with Lapo Elkann and Venture Captital respectively accounting for 53.39 percent and 25.44 percent of the capital.