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Kering records close to 30% comp sales growth in 2018, Gucci and Saint Laurent soar

Saint Laurent joins Toplife

Luxury conglomerate Kering Group announced a stellar performance for 2018 with total revenues and comparable sales both recording double-digit percentage growth for the twelve-month period.

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The French owner of global prestige brands including Saint Laurent, Gucci and Bottega Veneta said consolidated revenue in 2018 accelerated to €13,665.2 million up 26.3%, and 29.4% on a comparable basis, driven by all regions.

Kering reported a “remarkable increase” in recurring operating income up 46.6% to €3,943.8 million with a sharp rise in recurring operating margin to 28.9%

Net income leapt to €3,714.9 million, up 108.1%, following “skilful execution” of the company’s strategy, according to the group in a statement.

“2018 was an excellent year for Kering and its Houses. Once again, we significantly outperformed our sector. In an environment that was generally favorable but grew increasingly complex, Kering generated 2.8 billion euros in incremental revenues and 1.3 billion euros in additional EBIT compared to 2017,” said François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kering Group.

Star brand performers for Kering in 2018 were once again Gucci and Saint Laurent, which continued to deliver “exceptional growth”, up 36.9% and 18.7% on a comparable basis, respectively.

Weighing on Kering’s acceleration during the year was Bottega Veneta, which saw sales down 3.4% on a like-for-like basis, “pending the inaugural collections from the new creative director.”

The designer being referred to is Daniel Lee; appointed creative director of Bottega Veneta in July. Lee was most recently director of ready-to-wear design at Céline, as is expected to reinvigorate the historic Italian label after repeated sales declines.

The Paris-based company went on to report “strong momentum” at its other houses, up 32.1% on a comparable basis, powered by Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen.

Kering, like its luxury competitor LVMH Group, chooses not to disclose sales figures for individual brands in its portfolio.

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“Our healthy, balanced and profitable growth reflects skilful execution of our strategy, rigorous financial discipline, and a shared culture emphasizing responsibility and commitment. Having worked throughout the year to strengthen the Group and its brands, we have the ambition and the means to sustain our profitable growth momentum,” added Pinault.