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Kering Reports Tough Market for Luxury Watches, Jewelry

Group Share of Profit Surges to $603M
Feb 17, 2015 10:14 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Kering reported that revenue rose 4 percent year on year to $11.4 billion (EUR 10.038 billion) in 2014. Cost of sales increased 3.5 percent to $4.3 billion (EUR 3.742 billion),  so gross margin improved 4.2 percent to $7.2 billion (EUR 6.296 billion).  The group's share of profit greatly improved to $603 million (EUR 528.9 million) compared with $57 million in 2013.

The group's luxury brands performed very well in 2014, except for Gucci, which experienced a sales decline of 1.8 percent year on year to $4 billion (EUR 3.497 billion).  Bottega Veneta's revenue jumped 11.3 percent to $1.3 billion (EUR 1.131 billion), while Yves Saint Laurent's sales surged 27 percent to $805 million (EUR 707 million). Other luxury brands, including Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, Pomellato, Dodo and Qeelin,  recorded a collective sales increase of 14.4 percent to $1.6 billion (EUR 1.424 billion).

Luxury product sales were driven by couture and leather goods brands, which reflected an overall comparable-store increase of 9 percent. Conversely, "tougher market conditions" greatly impacted revenue from the timepiece and, to a lesser extent, jewelry brands. on a comparable basis, Kering's wholesale network sales  rose 2.1 percent, while retail sales in directly operated stores advanced 12.6 percent on a same-store basis.  Sales growth was strongest in emerging markets.

François-Henri Pinault, Kering's chairman and CEO, said, "The dynamic sales growth and increase in operating income of the group's luxury activities confirm the relevance of our multi-brand model and demonstrate our ability to unlock the potential of each our brands, exploit their complementarity, and nurture their development. The transformations carried out in 2014 from both an organizational and operational standpoint have allowed us to step up our responsiveness and achieve a greater degree of integration and specialization of our activities. The group's unique characteristics, as expressed in its strategic vision and management culture, are a key asset to deliver organic growth, our number-one priority in 2015, in a macroeconomic and currency environment, which remains unsettled. I am confident in the group's ability to achieve sustainable profitable growth, while focusing in the shorter term on our brands’ cash flow generation.”

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Tags: boucheron, gucci, Jeff Miller, Jewelry, kering, sales, watches
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