Kering sales rocketed 36.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year, reaching €3.108 billion (US$3.8 billion), led by Gucci’s staggering 48.7 per cent improvement.
“Kering maintained its outstanding sales momentum in the first quarter,” said Kering chairman and CEO Francois-Henri Pinault. “Under its new luxury pure-player profile, the group clearly outperformed a market that remains well oriented,” he said.
After including discontinued operations – Puma, Volcom and Stella McCartney, which Kering has divested its interests in – sales growth was still up 27.1 per cent.
Gucci’s “spectacular growth” included a 49.4 per cent leap in Asia Pacific and 64.4 per cent in North America. Gucci sales for the quarter totalled €1.866 billion.
“Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga set a high mark within a group that delivered sharp growth as a whole,” said Pinault. “In the balance of the year, we face a high base of comparison and a tough currency environment, but we are confident in the ability of our Houses to continue doing better than their peers, leveraging their innovativeness and creative audacity.”
Yves Saint Laurent sales rose 19.6 per cent (including 23.6 per cent in Asia Pacific) while the combined contribution of Alexander McQueen, jewellery and watches recorded a 37.9 per cent improvement. Even troubled Bottega Veneta improved by 0.7 per cent (including a 5.8 per cent lift in Asia Pacific), the first visible impact of a restructuring plan. New lines were “well received,” according to Kering, and ready-to-wear fared well, but wholesale slipped “slightly” in the quarter.
“The House is continuing to optimise its store network and strengthen its visibility through a communications strategy designed largely for digital media.”
Balenciaga led a 37.9 per cent improvement from ‘Other Houses’, Kering’s smaller luxury brands.
“Watches and jewellery performed very well this quarter. The strengthened positioning of Boucheron, Pomellato and Qeelin are paying off, thanks to new collections, extended iconic lines and investments in communications and store networks. Watches also turned in a good performance this quarter,” said Kering.