Feb 10, 2021
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OTB sales, profits drop but firm is upbeat as digital and Margiela outperform

Feb 10, 2021

Diesel and Maison Margiela owner OTB saw sales and profits being dented by the pandemic last year, a disappointing result after it had returned to profit in 2019.

Maison Margiela/John Galliano

Despite the issues in 2020, it remains upbeat, however. The Italian company also owns Marni, Viktor & Rolf and Amiri, plus manufacturer Staff International and Brave Kid. And it’s currently eyeing a Jil sander takeover, so is clearly confident of its future strength, despite the current issues.

The group, which cut costs and worked to conserve cash during the crisis period, said consolidated turnover fell 14.3% to €1.317 billion in the 12-month period and net sales were €1.238 million. The pandemic-linked sales fall wiped out the 6.5% turnover gain that had been made in the previous year. Meanwhile, the group’s EBITDA was €176 million in the latest year, while EBIT was €13.5 million, down from €17.7 million in 2019, although without €21.1 million of one-off provisions made for the pandemic, the EBIT figure would have seen a significant increase year-on-year.

There was good news in the fact that the company remained in profit and didn’t see an even bigger sales fall in a year more challenging than any for decades. Plenty of OTB’s peers have reported losses for 2020.

The company was helped last year by a 26% increase in online sales via its own webstores. That strong increase came as it launched its Moon omnichannel platform and the percentage of e-commerce sales for the Diesel brand compared to the label’s total revenues almost doubled from 7.9% in 2019 to 13.3% this time. When e-tail sales through websites not controlled by the company are added in, the total percentage comes to 24% for the Diesel business.

The firm increased its focus on digital last year and said this came along with “with a radical change in the mindset of the entire organisation, and the launch of the group sustainability plan for action on social and environmental issues and responsible product innovation”.

The Vicenza-based company also said it saw revenues rising 20% at Margiela as the business unit grew in all channels and regions. It explained that it’s reaping the rewards of its investment in the business and is confident for its 2021 performance too.

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