Global luxury group Kering reported consolidated revenue of US$4,683 million, up 21.4% as reported and 25.8% on a comparable basis in the first quarter of 2021.
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“In the first quarter, Kering delivered a strong topline performance, bouncing back above pre-pandemic levels. Growth was consistent across all our Houses, and we are particularly pleased with Gucci’s momentum as the brand kicks off its centennial celebration. While 2021 should still face some impact from the health crisis, the strategy, positioning and creativity of our Houses will enable each one of them to thrive in today’s environment,” said François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Group consolidated revenue rose sharply in the first quarter, up 25.8% on a comparable basis. Versus the first quarter of 2019, revenue increased 5.5% at constant exchange rates. Growth was well balanced across the Group, driven by good performances from all Houses.
Comparable revenue generated by the Luxury Houses’ directly operated networks climbed by 31.8% from the first quarter of 2020 and by 6.3% versus the first quarter of 2019, against a backdrop of store closures in part of the retail network.
The increase in sales was largely driven by outstanding momentum in Asia-Pacific (up 83%) and North America (up 46%). Sharp growth in online sales continued across regions, up 108% in the quarter, driving the penetration of e-commerce to 14% of retail sales. Comparable sales generated through the wholesale network were up 8.9% in the first quarter of 2021, as the Group continues to streamline this distribution channel.
Gucci posted revenue of US$2,610 million in the first quarter of 2021, up 20.2% as reported and 24.6% on a comparable basis. Thanks to the desirability of its collections, successful collaborations, and multiple local clienteling initiatives, the House saw a 33.6% increase in comparable sales through its directly operated network. The brand’s appeal was particularly strong in Asia-Pacific (up 78%) and North America (up 51%). Wholesale was down 26.1% on a comparable basis, in line with Gucci’s strategy of gradually enhancing the exclusivity of its distribution network.
Yves Saint Laurent delivered a strong start to the year, with revenue of US$622 million, up 18.9% as reported and 23.4% on a comparable basis. Comparable sales from the directly operated network rose 30.7%, with double-digit growth across all product categories. Sales momentum picked up in North America (up 46%) and Asia-Pacific (up 89%), where the House continues to build its presence and image. Wholesale was up 12.9% on a comparable basis.
Bottega Veneta posted revenue of US$395 million, a first-quarter record, advancing 19.9% as reported and 24.6% on a comparable basis. Comparable sales from the directly operated network grew 23.7% against a very high first-quarter 2020 comparison base, particularly in North America and Western Europe. All product categories posted double-digit growth in the period. Wholesale rose 27.1% on a comparable basis, in a context of increased selectivity in the number of House partners.
Revenue from Kering’s Other Houses was US$859.9 million in the first quarter, up 29.1% as reported and 33.1% on a comparable basis. Sales from the directly operated network rose 29.3% on a comparable basis over the period, while wholesale rose 38.3%.
The quarter’s performances at Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga were outstanding. Growth was particularly robust in their retail networks in North America as well as in Asia-Pacific, where the two Houses continue strengthening their positions.
The Jewelry Houses achieved an excellent quarter. Boucheron’s development strategy is paying off, yielding a remarkable performance, particularly in Japan and Asia-Pacific. Pomellato regained a very strong momentum, while Qeelin confirmed its exceptional growth trajectory. The Watch Manufacturers also had a good start to the year.
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Revenue for the Corporate and other segment was up 18.6% as reported and 22.9% on a comparable basis in the first quarter, driven by the strong performance of Kering Eyewear in its main markets.