Kering sales soar – even in China

Luxury goods and apparel giant Kering has reported a 10.5 per cent global rise in revenues in the latest quarter, with luxury sales up 11.3 per cent and sports and lifestyle brands up 9.3 per cent.

Most significantly, at a time its peers are battling falling sales in Hong Kong, Macau and some brands even in Mainland China, Kering seems to have experienced respectable results in those core markets.

Paris-based Kering’s brands range from luxury labels Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent through to lifestyle brand Puma. The company says sales in directly operated luxury stores enjoyed double-digit growth across all geographic regions excluding Japan, with strong growth of 24 per cent in Asia-Pacific, a very steady 17 per cent increase in North America and an “extremely good performance” in Western Europe, which expanded by 12 per cent.

“In a complex environment, we stepped up the pace of revenue growth and continued to gain market share,” said Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO. “Thanks to the creativity of our brands and the outstanding customer experience they offer, we achieved double-digit increases across all geographic regions excluding Japan.

“We have laid the foundations for steady, sustainable growth, and are highly confident about the full year.”

Kering’s headline brand Gucci achieved a sales increase of 17 per cent, while Yves Saint Laurent sales soared 33.9 per cent, both gaining market share from rivals. Sales were up sharply across all product categories and regions, excluding Japan, where market conditions were lacklustre for the sector as a whole. Gucci sales in directly operated stores rose by 19 per cent. Sales from Gucci’s e-commerce website increased by more than 50 per cent during the quarter.

Overall, Kering’s luxury activities generated €2.115 billion in revenue during the period, the 11.3 per cent same-store growth its fastest quarterly figure in three years.

But at Bottega Veneta, third-quarter sales were again impacted by slower tourism, particularly in the mature markets of Western Europe and Japan. Revenue was down 10.9 per cent on a comparable basis.

Here, Hong Kong’s luxury retail decline impacted on the brand, the company said, without divulging figures: “While sales in directly operated stores were lower in the quarter, they delivered a slight improvement compared to the second-quarter trend thanks to resilient sales to local customers in Europe and growth across all main markets in Asia Pacific, with the exception of Hong Kong.”

Puma’s leap

Puma’s 10.8 per cent same-store sales leap was the result of the brand building on innovative products and renewed appeal, Kering said. Shoes performed particularly well, posting 17 per cent growth, fuelled by the success of new models such as Ignite, Fierce and Fenty. Revenue from apparel was up a solid 10 per cent.

“With the exception of Japan, Puma achieved double-digit growth across all geographic regions, enjoying strong performances in Europe and the Americas, and sustained expansion in Mainland China.”

Kering has an ensemble of luxury fashion, leather goods, jewellery and watch brands: Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, McQ, Stella McCartney, Tomas Maier, Boucheron, Dodo, Girard-Perregaux, Pomellato, Qeelin and Ulysse Nardin.

Kering also has the sports & lifestyle brands Puma, Volcom and Cobra. The group generated revenues of more than €11.5 billion in 2015 and had more than 38,000 employees at year end.

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