Ferragamo sales fall 60% in quarter most affected by COVID crisis

MILAN, July 28 (Reuters) - Sales at Italian fashion group Salvatore Ferragamo fell by 60% in the second quarter, the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis due to global lockdown measures.

The Florence-based leather goods brand reported on Tuesday sales of 377 million euros ($442 million) in the six months to June after a drop of more than 30% in the first quarter.

Analysts had expected revenues at around 386 million euros for the semester, according to Refinitiv estimate.

The virus outbreak, with its shop closures and tourism slowdown, hit the group at a time when Chief Executive Micaela Le Divelec was leading a brand re-launch.

Last year, the group returned to sales growth for the first time since 2015 but in May it called back former CEO Michele Norsa as executive vice chairman to weather the COVID-19 storm.

The company gave no clue on the outlook for the year but flagged that July showed an improvement in the sales trend compared with the previous quarter in all its markets.

“In particular, as at July 25 the group has registered a solid growth in the directly operated stores in Mainland China, Korea and Japan versus July 2019,” it said in the statement.

Last month, the company decided to postpone all remaining first-half data and an analyst conference call to Sept. 15 to be able to show measures taken by the group to cope with fallout from the health emergency, a source said.

$1 = 0.8526 euros Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Edmund Blair