Italian fashion group OTB, the owner of brands like Diesel and Maison Margiela, faced a decline in sales and profits in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This setback was particularly disappointing for OTB, as the company had managed to return to profitability in 2019. However, despite the challenges encountered in 2020, OTB remains hopeful about the future. In addition to Diesel and Maison Margiela, the company also possesses Marni, Viktor & Rolf, and Amiri, as well as manufacturer Staff International and Brave Kid. In fact, it is even considering the possibility of acquiring Jil Sander, a clear indication of its confidence in the potential for future growth.

During the crisis, OTB made efforts to cut costs and conserve cash. As a result, the company’s consolidated turnover dropped by 14.3% to €1.317 billion over the course of the year, with net sales amounting to €1.238 million. This decrease in sales wiped out the 6.5% growth achieved in the previous year. Nevertheless, despite these difficulties, OTB’s EBITDA for the year was €176 million, and EBIT was €13.5 million, compared to €17.7 million in 2019. It is worth noting, however, that without the €21.1 million of one-off provisions made for the pandemic, the EBIT figure would have shown a significant increase compared to the previous year.

Despite these setbacks, OTB managed to remain profitable and avoid a more significant decline in sales, a feat that many of its industry peers were unable to achieve in 2020. This success can be attributed in part to a 26% increase in online sales through its own webstores. The launch of the Moon omnichannel platform played a crucial role in driving this growth. Furthermore, the proportion of e-commerce sales for the Diesel brand, when compared to total revenues, nearly doubled from 7.9% in 2019 to 13.3% in the most recent year. Taking into account sales made through third-party websites, the total e-commerce share for the Diesel brand rose to 24%.

Recognizing the importance of digital channels, OTB intensified its focus on digital initiatives in the past year. This shift coincided with a change in the mindset of the entire organization, as well as the implementation of a group sustainability plan. The company, committed to addressing social and environmental issues and promoting responsible product innovation, understands the significance of embracing digital strategies.

Regarding individual brands, Maison Margiela experienced a notable increase in revenues, with a 20% rise across all channels and regions. OTB attributes this growth to its investment in the Maison Margiela brand. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the company remains optimistic about Maison Margiela’s performance in 2021.

In general, although OTB encountered a decline in sales and profits in 2020, the company maintains a positive outlook for its future prospects. Its strategic emphasis on digital channels, successful growth in online sales, and the performance of individual brands like Maison Margiela establish a strong foundation for the company’s ongoing success in the fashion industry. With potential plans for acquiring Jil Sander in sight, OTB is well-positioned for further growth and expansion in the forthcoming years.

Useful Links:
1. OTB Brands
2. OTB Sustainability