Strong performances throughout Asia helped Samsonite International lift sales by 12.9 per cent in the first half of this year, to US$1.849 billion.
Samsonite Asia sales across the group’s entire brand portfolio grew 14.4 per cent year on year, behind Latin America’s 17 per cent, but ahead of Europe’s 11.4 per cent.
Tumi sales rose 16.6 per cent, with Asia the fastest-growing market where sales rose 39.4 per cent. American Tourister sales rose 24.2 per cent.
Globally, Samsonite’s namesake brand achieved a stunning 50 per cent increase.
Chairman Tim Parker said the first half of 2018 saw generally better trading conditions and more favourable foreign currency effects globally, which helped the group achieve what was another new record in total sales.
In Asia, net sales of the American Tourister brand rose by 17.7 per cent during the first half, largely driven by the Cristiano Ronaldo marketing campaign, while the group’s value-conscious, entry-level Kamiliant brand achieved the fastest growth of all of its brands, up 57.5 per cent.
In Hong Kong, where the company is listed, net sales increased by 28.3 per cent, driven by net sales of the Tumi brand (which included sales to Tumi distributors in some other Asian markets) and by the Samsonite and American Tourister brands. Those brands also drove an 11 per cent increase in sales in Mainland China.
Sales in Japan, driven by Tumi, American Tourister and Samsonite, grew 18.5 per cent. India was up 17.8 per cent, South Korea by 2 per cent and Australia by 8.7 per cent.
Group operating profit grew by 24.5 per cent year on year to $201.8 million and adjusted net income by 19.5 per cent to $119.8 million.
Parker concluded: “This solid performance is not only a testament to the resilience of our multi-brand, multi-category and multi-channel business model and our devolved management structure, it is above all a reflection of the strength of our people. Our business enjoys strong team management at the top, but we also rely on a community of managers around the world and in different functions to ensure prompt and effective execution in response to changes in the marketplace. This collective effort by the experienced people within our company remains one of the keys to our success.”