Kering reports spectacular growth in first quarter sales

By Rose Adams | 25 Apr 2018

The positive result was driven by a huge spike in sales at Gucci

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* The eccentric transformation of Gucci clothing and accessories has been credited with Kering's positive financial result

French luxury group Kering, which owns a host of designer fashion brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Alexandra McQueen and Balenciaga, has reported a "spectacular growth" of 27% in its sale of goods for the first quarter. The positive result has been largely driven by a soar in revenue at flagship brand Gucci, which marked an impresive 37% rise in sales, strongly succeeding the 23% growth predicted by analysts. 

"Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga set a high mark within a Group that delivered sharp growth as a whole,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering chairman and CEO. "Under its new Luxury pure player profile, the Group clearly outperformed a market that remains well oriented." The result marks the seventh consecutive year Gucci has enjoyed a notable spike in growth – its annual revenue has surged from £2.7bn in 2014 to £5.43bn last year. Fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent, Kering's second-largest brand, also prospered with sales rising 12%.

Related: The luxury fashion shake up: Berluti, Burberry and Givenchy lead the runway revamp

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* Alessandro Michele has been credited with transforming the aesthetic of Gucci since he joined as creative director in 2015

"Throughout the year there should be a progressive normalisation," Kering chief finance officer Jean-Marc Duplaix said. “We delivered a remarkable performance in the first quarter and are confident that our brands can outperform the market in the remainder of the year through innovation.”

Since joining Gucci as creative director in 2015, Alessandro Michele has been credited with transforming the brand's aesthetic, introducing an eccentric resurgence of vintage style accents to its clothing, accessories and store layouts as part of a reboot – exemplified in best-selling items Princetown shearling Loafers and Marmont matelassé leather super mini bag. At Milan Fashion Week he hit the headlines for sending models down the runway carrying severed prosthetic heads. 

Fellow luxury goods giant LVMH, who own luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Moët & Chandon, Christian Dior and Givenchy, also enjoyed an exceptionally positive result at the end of the first financial quarter, earlier this year announcing a rise in organic sales of fashion and leather goods by a record 13% to £9.45billion.

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