August 7, 2019 / 6:08 PM / 2 months ago

Tod's takes a tumble after sales fall

MILAN (Reuters) - Shares in Italian shoemaker Tod’s (TOD.MI) fell as much as 8.4% on Thursday after sales declined in the first half of the year when the company also made a net loss.

FILE PHOTO: Shoes of Italian luxury shoemaker Tod's are displayed in the window of the company's store in Zurich, Switzerland, April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

The group, best known for its 450 euro ($500) per pair Gommino loafers, has been struggling for several years to rejuvenate its brands, which also include Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier, in a crowded marketplace.

Tod’s shares have lost about a fifth of their value in the past week alone. Shares regained some of the ground initially lost on Thursday and were down 3.4% by 0825 GMT.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Diego Della Valle’s family has been gradually built up its holding to 64% of the company.

Della Valle, a prominent Italian businessman, said in a statement he and his family were confident in their strategy for Tod’s and would continue to buy company shares.

“The real challenge for us now is to become even more attractive for the young customers who live in the new markets ... we need to increase our investments to be more attractive and visible,” Della Valle said.

Chief Financial Officer Emilio Macellari said that as far as he knew, the family had not considered taking the company private.

Asked by analysts about whether the major shareholders believed in the company’s future, Chief Executive Umberto Macchi di Cellere said: “The family is very convinced that this is definitely not a lost battle at all.”

Group sales fell to 454.6 million euros in the first half of the year, 4.7% below the same period in 2018. The rate of growth in sales from its directly-owned stores fell 4.5%.

Tod’s reported a net loss of 6 million euros for the period in results announced late on Wednesday.

Macellari told analysts that the company expected full-year results to be similar to those achieved in the first half.

In May, Macellari had told analysts that meeting the market’s expectations for 2019 results could be challenging.

Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Jane Merriman and Keith Weir

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