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Buccellati sees tenfold revenue rise

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-10 07:56

Buccellati sees tenfold revenue rise

A visitor views a Buccellati rock crystal jewelry product at an exhibition in Florence, Italy.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Buccellati, a Chinese-owned Italian jewellery and watch company, said on Thursday that it expects a tenfold rise in revenue over the next five years and by 20-fold in 10 years, on the back of its rapid expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, according to its largest shareholder.

Xu Jiangang, chairman and president of Gangtai Group, said in Shanghai on Thursday that Buccellati is planning to open 88 stores in the next three to five years to build a comprehensive global distribution network, out of which 18 will be in Chinese cities.

The Italian company opened its first outlet on the Chinese mainland in Shanghai's Plaza 66 on Thursday. Plaza 66 is Shanghai's luxury brand hub with stores of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Bvlgari.

Gangtai is one of China's largest gold jewelry distributors with 22 gold mines of combined reserves with some 150 metric tons. The Shanghai-listed company posted revenue of 5.2 billion yuan ($783.5 million) for the first nine months of the year, with more than 60 percent coming from gold distribution.

It completed the acquisition of 85 percent of shares in Buccellati in August this year for 195.5 million euros ($226 million) from private equity firm Clessidra and the Buccellati family, which retain the remaining 15 percent share (7.5 percent each).

Buccellati is one of the most prestigious jewelers in Italy. The 98-year-old brand is widely known for its craftsmanship and design, and "one-of-a-kind" tailor-made services for high net worth customers and is among the top jewelry brands alongside Harry Winston and Graff, according to a luxury brand report from Forbes.

China became the world's second largest jewelry consumer market in 2015 just behind the US, according to data from the Gems& Jewelry Trade Association of China, or GAC.

Total sales of jewelry in China reached 520 billion yuan in 2016 and is expected to further grow in 2017 and 2018, the GAC report said.

A research note from Huatai Securities said that more jewelry consumers in China are now buying jewelry at higher prices and prefer spending more on a single piece of jewelry rather than purchase a lot at lower prices.

Before the acquisition, Buccellati's annual revenue was between 40 million euros and 50 million euros.

"We will invest heavily with an ambitious plan to expand Buccellati's distribution networks, including e-commerce platforms. We are confident that annual revenue will exceed 500 million euros in three to five years", the Gangtai Group chairman said.

When conditions are mature, the Buccellati business will be included in Gangtai's publicly listed unit, said Xu, adding that there is no concrete timetable for the same.

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