On the heels of LVMH’s first-half report, which cited “excellence” growth, rival conglomerate Kering announced its financials for the first six months of the year, pointing to “dazzling top-line and earnings performances.” The Paris-based luxury group, which owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta, among others, cited “sharp outperformance versus the industry as a whole,” with total revenue for the group rising 33.9 percent to €6.43 billion ($7.49 billion); LVMH, for reference, recorded revenue of $25.5 billion with a growth rate of 10 percent.
Kering – which reported in February that the 2017 fiscal year saw in bring in the most revenue to date ($17.9 billion) with net income surging 119.5 percent – pointed to a few other key figures" Recurring operating margin for all of the brands reached 30 percent “for the first time ever,” and net income grew a whopping 185.7 percent to $2.75 billion.
In terms of the individual brands, Gucci – which has been significantly revamped under the watch of creative director Alessandro Michele and CEO Marco Bizzarri – is the shining star of the Kering offerings, achieving an “excellent, healthy revenue growth” of 44.1 percent compared to the same period last year. Saint Laurent, maintained “strong growth momentum,” with sales up 19.7 percent on a comparable basis, while “other houses,” such as Balenciaga, had a “sharp year-on-year revenue increase, up 36.5 percent on a comparable basis.” This was led, in part, “by Balenciaga’s excellent sales rise and a faster pace of growth for Alexander McQueen.”
François-Henri Pinault, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kering, said in a statement on Thursday, that Kering’s “growth, [which is] grounded in the exclusivity and desirability of our brands, is remarkably healthy.” Pinault has not been shy in sharing his fashioning to take Gucci, in particular, to overtake rivals like Chanel or Louis Vuitton in terms of revenue in the coming years; this will include boosting online sales, launching a wider range of beauty products, and parting ways with its non-core brands.
As Kering noted in its report, it has spun off German sportswear label Puma to its shareholders earlier this year, and has "discontinued" its operations with Stella McCartney and Christopher Kane.