France’s Kering shares drop on struggling Gucci sales
Share prices of French luxury and sports clothing group Kering fell sharply in Paris Wednesday on news of disappointing first quarter performance by its Gucci unit.
Though Kering reported a rise in first quarter group revenues of 11.4 percent to 2.7 billion euros (NT$89.624 billion; US$2.9 billion), investors dumped its stock on word of slowing sales of luxury brand Gucci, which accounts for 60 percent of group profit.
In mid-day trading, Kering stock had slumped by just over 6 percent to 167.30 euros per share.
“Group revenues, up in the first quarter of the year, reflect a complex economic and monetary environment as well as the transition underway at Gucci,” Kering chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault said in a statement, in which he also noted “tough market conditions overall in the Asia-Pacific region” facing Gucci.
“Our priority today is to give our flagship luxury brand fresh impetus and we are confident in the success of the action plans initiated by the new teams, both on a creative and organizational front,” Pinault said.
Beneficial exchange rate effects helped Gucci sales increase by 3.7 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. But on a comparable basis that strips out exchange rate effects Gucci’s sales fell by 7.9 percent.
That weakening activity, said Aurel BGC analyst David Da Maia, “seems to confirm that subperformance by Gucci compared to its rivals is worsening,” which risks dragging Kering group results for much of the year.
“As we feared, organic growth slowed strongly in the quarter ... due to a particularly difficult start of the year for the luxury unit,” Da Maia said.