Kering has released its third quarter results and it is yet another indication that Saint Laurent skeptics (you know them, they wear "Ain't Laurent Without Yves" tees) are off-base. According to a statement from Paris-based Kering, the luxury conglomerate's revenue is up 3.3% on a reported basis to €2.6 billion ($3.29 billion). As for the individual brands, there was some impressive growth, it just wasn't at Gucci. The Florence-based design house, which has been struggling to revamp its brand in the wake of logo-fatigue that hit the market quite hard in recent years, reported that sales fell 1.9 percent on a comparable basis. Positive sales trends were reported in directly operated stores in North America and Japan, thereby, "confirming the success of [its] brand elevation strategy." Gucci's sales, which were supported by new launches such as Swing and Bright Diamante handbags, were weak in China, however.
Bottega Veneta, which announced the appointment of a new CEO this week (along with new CEOs at Brioni and Christopher Kane), posted solid growth in the third quarter of 2014 with revenue jumping 11% on a comparable basis (up 10% in its directly operated stores). And then there is Saint Laurent ...
The Paris-based design house, under the creative control of Hedi Slimane, posted, by far, the most impressive results. According to Kering's statement: "Yves Saint Laurent once again turned in an outstanding performance, reporting third-quarter growth of 28% on a comparable basis, driven by exceptionally strong sales in directly operated stores, particularly in North America (up 47%) and Western Europe (up 26%). All product categories, in particular Leather Goods and Men's and Women's Ready-To-Wear reported solid growth." Interestingly, Kering refers to the house as Yves Saint Laurent. Thereby, clarifying any confusion regarding the 2012 rebranding. Just the ready-to-wear collection has undergone a name change.
Chief Executive Officer Francois-Henri Pinault said in a statement: “Luxury activities held firm in a complex economic environment, thanks to a strong sales uptrend in our network of directly operated stores … Faced with uncertain market conditions, we remain vigilant.”