(Adds details, shares)
* 2011 sales 893.7 mln euros, up 13.5 pct
* Q4 Italy sales down 11.7 pct
* Shares down 4 pct, underperform Milan blue-chips
MILAN, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Italian luxury goods maker Tod’s SpA reported lower-than-expected sales in its crisis-hit core Italian market in the last quarter.
The owner of the Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier brands, with a market value of 2.1 billion euros ($2.7 billion), said on Wednesday global sales grew 13.5 percent last year to 893.7 million euros, slightly above analysts’ estimates.
However, sales in Italy, which faces a likely recession this year, fell 11.7 percent in the Christmas season.
At 1444 GMT, shares in Tod’s were down 4 percent at 66.9 euros, underperforming Italy’s blue-chip index which was 1 percent lower.
The group has increased its exposure to Asian markets, but is still mainly reliant on Italy, which accounts for half of sales. Foreign buyers are also not very familiar with brands such as Fay and Hogan, which are mostly known in Italy.
“Italy sales dropped around 12 percent in the last quarter, despite full-year revenues coming slightly above consensus,” a Milan-based luxury analyst said, adding he saw signs of profit taking in the stock.
Despite the tough Italian market, Chairman and Chief Executive Diego Della Valle said in a statement he was confident of posting “outstanding” profits in 2011.
Many global luxury players such as Italian eyewear maker Luxottica, which have little exposure to Europe, have been so far unscathed by the euro zone slowdown. ($1 = 0.7704 euros) (Reporting by Antonella Ciancio)