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5 Apr

Design Holding Sees 1B Euros in Sales; No IPO Plans

MILAN — Italy’s leading high-end design, furniture and lighting company Design Holding said Wednesday that it closed 2022 with a surge in sales and expects to achieve the 1 billion euro mark in only a number of years.

Founded in November 2018, Design Holding comprises leading brands B&B Italia, Flos, Menu, By Lassen, Lumens, Louis Poulsen, Arclinea, Maxalto, Azucena and produces Fendi Casa through a three way partnership with the Roman fashion house. It has a presence in greater than 130 countries.

Within the 12 months ended Dec. 31, pro-forma revenues rose 15.7 percent to 867.6 million euros, compared with 2021, boosted by business within the U.S. and Asia Pacific, in addition to its high-end contract business.

The figures take into the account its 2022 acquisition of Designers Company, a Danish group with complementary brands akin to Menu and By Lassen.

In an exclusive interview with WWD, Design Holding’s chief executive officer Daniel Lalonde said the corporate is well-poised to achieve 1 billion euros in sales within the “medium term.” Lalonde responded to unconfirmed media reports speculating that the corporate was preparing for an IPO. Currently, he said, Design Holding has no plans to push ahead with a market listing.

“We’re specializing in growing our business, making it stronger, but we aren’t working on an IPO scenario today. It doesn’t mean we’re never going to work on an IPO, but markets aren’t favorable, and we’ve got decided to deal with executing our current plans,” the previous LVMH executive said.

Daniel Lalonde, CEO of Design Holding.

Mattia Zoppellaro / Courtesy of Design Holding

Lalonde listed rising inflation, rates of interest and trouble within the banking sector amongst challenges for the design sector in 2023.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to 211.8 million euros from 190.3 million euros in 2021, or 24.4 percent on revenues.

Operating profit increased to 164.3 million euros versus 151.8 million euros in 2021, representing a 18.9 percent margin on revenues. The 2021 EBITDA and operating profit comparison figures don’t have in mind the earnings posted by the recently acquired Designers Company.

The group also said it generated 153.5 million euros in money.

Given the strong full-year results, Lalonde said the corporate can be well-poised to make much more acquisitions because it inches toward its long-term goal of becoming the LVMH of home.

“We intend to make acquisitions that make sense and we’re open to brands that create value together,” he identified, adding that there remains to be huge potential for growth within the design sector.

On a worldwide level, Design Holding saw its business in each North America and Asia Pacific grow double digits, 33.1 percent, and 27.2 percent, respectively.

In 2022, Design Holding signed necessary high-end projects, price a complete of 240.5 million euros, particularly within the hospitality, residential, corporate and retail sectors, including the Bulgari Hotel in Paris, M+ Museum in Hong Kong and La Bella Vita in Taichung, Taiwan.

In 2021, the Italian conglomerate inked a three way partnership with Fendi forming Fashion Furniture Design, or FF Design, to develop the Fendi Casa business. The road was previously produced and distributed by licensee Luxury Living, operating through Club House Italia.

“The outcomes achieved by Design Holding in 2022 are testament to the excellence of our brands, validation of our business strategy, and the talent of our people,” added Lalonde, who was appointed CEO of the group in October of 2021.

Going forward, the corporate is targeted on boosting the desirability of its brands, enhancing the direct-to-consumer journey, which incorporates directly operated, monobrand stores, e-commerce web sites, expanding with a deal with North America, China and the Middle East and fortifying its leadership within the high-end contract business.

In Greater China, Design Holding hopes e-commerce will aid it in welcoming a latest demographic of luxury-conscious Millennial shoppers. Currently, Design Holding directly operates its e-commerce sales across all brands, but only in North America and Europe. Its e-commerce business is anticipated to rise within the double digits, Lalonde said, noting that lighting and accessories remain the important catalyst for e-commerce sales.

Alongside these key focuses, the group stays committed to creating further progress in accelerating its environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions on its operations.

Under the aegis, “We design for a good looking life,” Lalonde said Design Holding will roll out a latest store concept for the primary time within the Miami design district this summer, in time for Art Basel.

Under one roof, all of its brands will dialogue with one another in a single open space, unlike a showroom concept where brands and their products are isolated from each other.

Design Holding’s catalogue features iconic objects designed by world-famous designers akin to Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni; Tobia Scarpa; Luigi Caccia Dominioni; Poul Henningsen; Arne Jacobsen; Antonio Citterio; Gaetano Pesce; Philippe Starck; Piero Lissoni; Konstantin Grcic; Jasper Morrison; Patricia Urquiola; Michael Anastassiades and plenty of others.

Last yr saw the expansion of revolutionary products and potential future icons just like the Thea kitchen by Antonio Citterio for Arclinea; Allure O’ table and Flair O’ by Monica Armani for B&B Italia; Almendra suspension lamp by Patricia Urquiola, and the Luce Orizzontale by R. & E. Bouroullec for Flos.

Latest collaborations have also taken place across the style industry, culminating in The Stella McCartney x B&B Italia three-piece capsule that launched at Art Basel in December 2022, marking the British eco-conscious pioneer’s first interiors collaboration.

“What we share with luxury brands is similar customer. She or he has the identical Birkin bag, a Tank watch [Cartier], Jimmy Choo shoes, a Camaleonda sofa from B&B Italia and an Artichoke lamp from Louis Poulsen.”

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