Bregenz - Luxury hosiery manufacturer Wolford benefitted from its ongoing restructuring program during its most recent half year, returning to a profit despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the reopening of stores in Europe, the USA and China after the first wave of Covid-19 in the second quarter of 2020, the continued lockdowns in Europe since October 2020 have led to significant losses which, Wolford says, will extend in all probability into the second half of 2021. Nevertheless, the company generated sales of €68.0 million in the six month period, limiting the decline in sales to just €22.8 million (approx. 25 per cent) compared to the same period of the previous year (May to December 2019).
Despite the drop in sales, Wolford achieved a profit of €12.8 million, significantly exceeding the previous year’s result of a €14.5 million loss.
Overall, Wolford benefited from the continuing rollout of the restructuring program “PITBOLI” (Program for Immediate Top and Bottom Line Impact) which launched at the beginning of 2020.
The restructuring delivered a reduction of a further 20 per cent year-on-year on personnel costs, while the implementation of extensive additional measures in cash management ensured sufficient liquidity throughout the short fiscal year.
A key growth driver for the year was online sales which saw a 45 per cent increase year-on-year. The revenue share of the company’s own online business and the associated online business of its wholesale partners increased to a total of around 21 per cent while Wolford’s retail and wholesale business also contributed to increasing sales. Both the Spring Summer 2020 and the Fall-Winter 2020/21 collection were very well received in all channels. To date, a revenue of €10 million has been generated through the sale of approximately 700,000 Wolford Care Masks since the beginning of production in March 2020.
The company also reports that “The W” and “W lab” collections were successfully incorporated into the brand architecture and are now part of the new face of the Wolford brand. The collaboration with adidas has significantly exceeded expectations, as well as the launch of “The W” on the online platform Farfetch. Furthermore, a relaunch of the Essential Collection has started, which will be implemented in the upcoming months with targeted campaigns. With the Aurora Monogram products, part of “The W” collection, Wolford says it also continues to increase its commitment to sustainability with the new Aurora Styles all Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified.
Looking forward, Wolford says it aims to increase its geographical presence with expansion in Poland, Scandinavia, United Arabic Emirates, Central America and Japan all on the target list.