Kering Luxury Has Its Highest Quarterly Organic Sales Growth in Years

Kering’s luxury revenues grew 11.3 percent in the third quarter — its highest quarterly organic-sales growth rate in three years, as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent bucked a morose economic environment to record strong double-digit sales increases.

The market-beating performance helped propel Kering’s overall revenues up 10 percent in the third quarter, to 3.18 billion euros, or $3.54 billion. Sales were up 10.5 percent in organic terms during the three-month period.

Gucci, which accounts for more than a third of the group’s revenues, continued to reap the benefits of the strategy launched last year by Creative Director Alessandro Michele and CEO Marco Bizzarri. The brand saw organic revenues increase 17 percent in the third quarter, boosted by the success of handbags like the GG Marmont, the Sylvie and the Dionysus.

Saint Laurent was up 33.9 percent in the quarter, with permanent collections enjoying continued popularity and customers responding well to new handbag models,  such as the Sunset Monogramme. Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen each posted growth of around 10 percent or more, while Bottega Veneta saw sales drop 10.9 percent.

The sport and lifestyle division registered a 9.3 percent rise in organic sales in the three months ended Sept. 30, with Puma posting a 10.8 percent increase, thanks to the success of its ongoing collaboration with Rihanna.

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, said: “Our excellent sales in the third quarter underscore the relevance of our strategy and the effectiveness of its execution. In a complex environment, we stepped up the pace of revenue growth and continued to gain market share.”

Sales in directly operated stores registered double-digit growth across all geographic regions, excluding Japan. “We have laid the foundations for steady, sustainable growth and are highly confident about the full year,” Pinault said.

The results came after LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported that organic sales climbed 6 percent in the third quarter, while Burberry notched a 2 percent uptick in comparable sales in its fiscal second quarter.

Kering is in the midst of a wide-ranging management reshuffle. In the last month, the company has appointed new CEOs at Bottega Veneta, Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. It named Carlo Alberto Beretta to the newly created position of chief client and marketing officer and announced the departure of Justin O’Shea as creative director of Brioni after just six months.

All dollar rates are calculated at average exchange for the period.

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