Handbags, International Sales Drive Strong Earnings Growth at Kurt Geiger

Handbags and international growth are driving momentum at Kurt Geiger.

For the year ended January 2019, earnings increased 5.7% to 38.1 million pounds ($49 million). Sales were up 3% to 349 million pounds ($450 million). The results were released exclusively to FN and follow the British earnings calendar protocol.

Retail sales in the United Kingdom were up 1.5%, while international wholesale sales saw robust growth of 27.4%.

While shoes continue to be Kurt Geiger’s biggest category, handbags are the fastest growing sector for the label. Bag sales jumped 45% in the period, and the segment now accounts for 22% of overall sales, compared with 15% in the same period a year ago.

Neil Clifford Kurt Geiger
Neil Clifford said he doesn’t spend time worrying about Brexit.
CREDIT: Courtesy Image

The company launched its handbag collection in Nordstrom’s new New York flagship last week, and sales have already been strong.

“It’s not just about the fact we’re doing well with handbags. It’s a sign she loves buying more from us than just shoes,” said CEO Neil Clifford. “It gives us the confidence to continue to invest in new categories and a brand that can be a lot bigger than we are today.”

On the shoe front, sneaker sales across the company grew 14%, and digital comps also increased 14%.

While Brexit has been weighing on many British fashion companies, Clifford said he doesn’t spend time worrying about it. “It will be resolved. We spend time looking in the mirror and not out the window,” the CEO said.



Kurt Geiger Bags
Ella Balinska in the bag campaign.
CREDIT: Courtesy Image

Looking ahead, Clifford said he’s confident that profits will continue to grow as the company moves into 2020.

The team also continues to invest in stores and technology and poured 11 million pounds in the business last year.

As reported, Kurt Geiger, which has been bought and sold more than most shoe companies, is reportedly mulling another sale under Cinven.

Clifford said that while M&A deals are typical under private equity ownership, he is focused on “growing the company, our credibility and our brands globally.”

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