Tod's shares rise after operating profit beat expectations

Logos of Tod's are seen in the windows of a shop in downtown Rome

MILAN (Reuters) -Shares in Tod's rose as much as 5% on Thursday after the Italian luxury group's first half operating profit more than tripled compared to the same period of last year, beating analysts expectations.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached 60 million euros ($64.3 million) in the January-June period, led by growth in sales and a more favourable product mix, the group said in a statement.

Given the better-than-expected results, the group has scope to beat the current analysts' consensus on full year sales and operating profit, Chief Financial Officer Emilio Macellari said in a post results conference call on Wednesday evening.

Analysts expected sales to reach 1.147 billion euros and EBIT to total 85 million euros in 2023, according to a consensus published by the company on its website.

However, Macellari cautioned that profit growth in the second half will be hit by higher marketing expenses.

Sales grew 23% in the first six months of the year, driven by a strong performance in Greater China, as already indicated by preliminary data published in July.

Growth in sales returned to more normal levels in July and August compared to the aggressive rate seen in the previous months, Macellari added.

This applied both to China and Europe. In the latter, tourist demand was still strong, but the domestic consumption was weaker, he added.

The group is also confident it will find a substitute for its creative director Walter Chiapponi, who will leave the company after this month's Milan fashion show, in time for its next collection, Macellari said.

He also pointed out that the new creative director is not expected to perform a "revolution" but rather an "evolution" of what Chiapponi started, supported by the internal team.

Tod's shares were up 2.4% at 0800 GMT.

($1 = 0.9333 euros)

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, editing Federico Maccioni)