Kering posts 27.1 percent rise in first quarter 2018 revenues to €3.108 billion

French luxury conglomerate Kering scored a striking 27.1 percent growth in first quarter group revenues, as Gucci led the way with an almost 40% explosion in sales. Kering’s problem child Bottega Veneta, however, suffered another heavy fall in revenues, the Paris-based conglomerate announced Tuesday evening.


Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2018 campaign - Photos: Balenciaga

 
Kering rang up revenues of €3.108 billion in the first three months of the current year, which taking into account currency variations represented a comparable advance of 36.8 percent.
 
Its star brand Gucci led the dramatic gains, scoring first quarter turnover of €1.866 billion, up 37.9 percent in reported revenues and 48.7 percent after currency changes are factored in. The Florentine fashion house achieved 50% growth in its global chain of directly-owned stores, while its online sales, driven by the US, racked up triple-digit growth.
 
That said, Bottega Veneta saw sales plummet 6.8% to €261 million, despite the opening with much fanfare of a huge flagship on Madison Avenue during the New York runway season in February and the staging of a massive, and costly, runway show the same week near Wall Street.
 
However, the group’s other key luxury brand, Saint Laurent, did enjoy a healthy quarter, notching a 12% advance in revenues to €408 million, driven by rapid growth in Asia Pacific and a 32% increase in wholesale sales.
 
“Kering maintained its outstanding sales momentum in the first quarter. Under its new Luxury pure player profile, the Group clearly outperformed a market that remains well oriented. Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga set a high mark within a Group that delivered sharp growth as a whole,” said Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault.
 
“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,” added Pinault, whose family control the publically quoted group.
 
Kering’s Other House division also performed well with a 31% rise in revenues to €463 million, powered by “an excellent performance” from its star performer Balenciaga, enjoying a remarkable commercial and artistic renaissance under designer Demna Gvasalia. While the house of Alexander McQueen “maintained positive trends across all regions in its directly-operated store network.”
 
Significantly, the opening quarter also witnessed the agreement between Kering and Stella McCartney Ltd to sell the 50% stake the group owns in the British brand back to the designer herself. Kering is also in the process of selling skate and snowboard brand Volcom as it “no longer constituted a core asset.”
 

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