Revenue dropped 8 percent at constant exchange rates to 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in 2018, Armani said in a statement Friday. Net profit slipped by more than half as the company increased spending and licensing income declined.
Armani is forecasting a return to growth next year after regrouping the offer from its various sub-brands under three main lines — a process that will see mid-price department-store labels like Armani Jeans and Armani Collezioni phased out. Net cash rose to 1.3 billion euros, meaning the company has significant resources to invest in relaunching the brand.
After missing a wave of surging luxury demand in China that’s boosted the fortunes of French rivals like LVMH and Kering, Armani parted ways with general manager Livio Proli in March, replacing him with two internal hires.
Giorgio Armani, 85, remains the sole shareholder, chief executive officer and creative director of the company he founded in 1978. Even as revenues declined since 2016, he’s continued to tack on new projects to expand his brand’s reach: in 2019 alone he began building a suite of luxury apartments above his New York City flagship store, staged his first destination runway show in Tokyo and clinched a deal to provide uniforms for the Italian national soccer team.
In addition to the sales of top-end fashions and homeware at Giorgio Armani, mid-priced Emporio Armani and streetwear at A/X Armani Exchange, the company receives license fees for eyewear produced by EssilorLuxottica SA and fragrances and make-up from L’Oreal SA-owned Armani Beauty.
By Robert Williams; editors: Eric Pfanner and John Lauerman.