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Samsonite sales soar globally

Samsonite sales soared 16.6 per cent in the first half of this year.

The Hong Kong-based travel luggage retailer says it has benefited from “robust growth in travel and tourism worldwide” achieving sales of US$1.197 billion in the six months to June 30.

Excluding the effects of foreign currency exchange rates, Samsonite’s profit attributable to shareholders increased by 8.9 per cent.

Fresh from bedding down the acquisition of Rolling Luggage in February, Samsonite says it will continue to evaluate further potential acquisition opportunities “that offer both a compelling strategic and financial rationale”.

Rolling Luggage is one of the world’s leading airport retailers of branded luggage and travel products. The acquisition provides Samsonite with a significant retail footprint in some of the leading airports in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, and establishes a strong multi-brand platform to showcase the group’s brands and collections.

Samsonite chairman Tim Parker said behind the strong numbers for the first half year, “some strong foundations are being laid for future growth”.

“It is worth bearing in mind that Samsonite, our flagship brand, is still number one in most markets of the world. One of the key strengths of our business is its diversity in terms of brands, segments and geographical markets. Thus, in the first half of 2015, pockets of local market pressure were more than compensated for by good performances elsewhere.”

CEO Ramesh Tainwala added: “Samsonite achieved a very encouraging set of results for the first half of 2015 despite challenging economic and trading conditions in almost all of our major markets. All of our operating regions posted solid constant currency net sales growth, underscoring the resilience of our multi-brand, multi-category and multi-channel business model.”

Samsonite’s net sales in Asia continued to grow across all markets within the region, reaching US$471.4 million for the six months, an increase of 17.2 per cent year on year. The growth was driven by both Samsonite and American Tourister, whose net sales grew by 15.1 per cent and 9.6 per cent, respectively.

The group’s Samsonite Red sub-brand was the driving force behind the 42.3 per cent increase in the casual product category in the Asia region. The group also recorded net sales of US$7.1 million from the High Sierra brand in the region during the first half of 2015, representing an increase of 64.4 per cent from the previous year.

Samsonite introduced the Kamiliant brand in Asia during the second half of 2014, which has contributed US$1.0 million of net sales in the first half of 2015. All of the group’s brands continue to benefit from products and marketing campaigns that are designed specifically for the region.

Driven by Samsonite and Samsonite Red through the eCommerce channel and strong business-to-business sales, China saw first half net sales increase by 29.8 per cent year on year. South Korea continued to grow, recording a 4.8 per cent increase in net sales despite the negative impact from the MERS outbreak.

India, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia all recorded strong year-on-year net sales growth of 13 per cent, 44.6 per cent, 8.1 per cent and 33.5 per cent, respectively.

“Aside from additional points of sale and increased product offerings, the success of the group’s business in Asia has been bolstered by its continued focus on country-specific products and marketing strategies to drive increased awareness of, and demand for, the group’s products,” the company said in a statement.

For the second half of 2015, the Group will continue to leverage the strength of its diverse portfolio of brands to gain market share across all of its markets. Those brands include Samsonite, American Tourister, Hartmann, High Sierra, Gregory, Speck and Lipault.

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