Luxury hosiery and intimates brand, Wolford, has announced strong sales performance in the first half of the year. Despite this increase in sales, the company faced a loss in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) due to high costs caused by inflation.

From January to June, Wolford experienced a sales growth of 29.4%, reaching a total of €54.3 million. When considering like-for-like growth excluding the licensing business, the figure was even more impressive at +40%, placing Wolford at the upper end of the scale in comparison to the wider luxury goods market.

All regions and distribution channels contributed to the sales growth. The US market saw a significant increase of 40%, while the EMEA region achieved a 30% jump despite the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. In Asia/Oceania, sales slightly surpassed the previous year’s level even with the impact of the pandemic. Both retail and wholesale channels saw double-digit growth, and sales via multibrand retailers rose by nearly 60%. The online business also had positive development.

However, Wolford faced challenges that resulted in an EBIT loss. The company’s ongoing structural reorganization, combined with difficult market conditions, contributed to this loss. Rising prices of fabrics, paper, energy, and logistics, along with inflation and shortages in procurement markets, led to increased costs. Staff costs also increased. Unfortunately, Wolford does not anticipate any improvement in its EBIT for the full year.

To secure liquidity, the company has obtained loans from its majority shareholder and is in close contact with banks for further financing. Despite these challenges, Wolford has been focused on expanding its market visibility. It has developed a strong retail plan, including six new store openings and relocations in key cities. Notably, a new flagship store was opened in Paris on Rue Saint Honoré, and the flagship in New York was moved to a larger and improved location on Madison Avenue.

Collaborations with renowned fashion brands Alberta Ferretti and GCDS have also contributed to increased brand awareness and attracted new customer groups. Wolford’s strong digital and social media strategies have further enhanced brand visibility.

Wolford remains optimistic about the future and expects stabilization in the positive sales trend for the entire year. The company continues to navigate through difficult market conditions while maintaining its position as a leading luxury hosiery and intimates brand.

Useful links:
1. Wolford Official Website
2. Business of Fashion