Italian luxury CEO still believes in Russia, China

Russia to rebound in 1 year: Ferragamo CEO

Despite a drop in luxury spending by Chinese consumers, the chief executive of luxury goods maker Ferragamo told CNBC Friday that the world's second largest economy was still the main source of growth for the sector.

"I still think China will be the booster of the luxury industry for several years," Michele Norsa, chief executive of the Italian company, told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box" Friday.

"China is a very complex system, we are present in 40 cities, we have almost 100 stores and will be opening five stores this year -- so we still believe very much in the market."

On Wednesday, Ferragamo reported a 10 percent increase in sales in the first quarter of 2015 and a 17 percent rise in net profit to 32 million euros ($36 million), as the weaker single currency helped to boost sales.

The Asia-Pacific area was confirmed as the group's top market for revenue, increasing by 11 percent (at current exchange rates) compared with the same quarter in 2014.

Feng Li | Getty Images

Ferragamo said in an earnings statement that "a significant contribution came from the retail channel in China, which recorded a revenue growth of 22 percent in the first three months of 2015."

Norsa told CNBC that the rising middle-class population in China, along with growing foreign tourism, had maintained consumer demand, although "the mood for buying" at a domestic level had decreased.

Read MoreBig discounts aheadfor China luxury shoppers

However, elsewhere in the world, revenue growth was still being challenged by several factors, Norsa said.

"The first quarter was impacted in the U.S. by severe weather, the timing of the Chinese New Year was different and of course, the volatility in the Russian and Ukrainian markets (affected revenues), altogether the shares have been trading very well," he told CNBC.

Norsa forecast the Russian market could yet recover, despite the hard-pressed economy, drop in consumer demand and international sanctions instigated for its incursion in Ukraine last year.

Read MoreChinese wealthy pullback on luxury spending

"What has changed (in Russia) is the mood," Norsa told CNBC.

"Of course, Russians are not travelling to Europe in the same way and they don't have the same sympathy to European luxury products but in the domestic market there was a rebound after a very sober start to the year." he said.

He gave the Russian market the best part of a year to recover.

"We have invested there — we opened two stores in Moscow – and I think Russians are among the best quality of customers, so it will take a while – perhaps 9 months to a year but it will come back."

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt.

Related Tags