Fashion sales: Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen on the rise.  Gucci stable

Fashion sales: Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen on the rise. Gucci stable

As announced, the performance of the large international luxury groups slowed down in the first 3 months of this year, after the exploits of 2022 and the recovery of enthusiasm in post-pandemic sales. So the president and CEO of the Kering Group in announcing the results does not hide and sincerely admits: “Kering’s performance in the first quarter was, as we expected, complex. The gradual improvement of the business over the period is encouraging, and we are working to increase the desirability of our brands and develop their visibility in the most important markets.The many initiatives of our Houses further strengthen their attractiveness and exclusivity, and consolidate the foundations for profitable and sustainable growth over time”. of unbridled luxury is a rather distant memory, now many indicators have changed and even the climate in the world with international tensions and worries about widespread wars does not help to look at business only with positive implications.Nevertheless the Kering Group closes sales of the first quarter 2023 with a value of 5.077 billion euros, with +2% at current rates and +1% at comparable rates. With a growing trend at the end of the quarter. And investments in Italian manufacturing remain interesting and continuous also in the coming months with new factories, especially in the Florentine leather goods district. Direct sales (retail), which include e-commerce, grew by 4% at comparable rates, thanks to the contribution of all the Group’s fashion houses. Growth was driven in particular by the good performance of Western Europe and Japan. Asia-Pacific is also returning to growth, thanks to the gradual recovery of the Chinese market. Indirect sales (wholesale and royalties) instead decreased by 10% at comparable rates, in line with the rationalization strategy of the distribution channel. Sales in Western Europe represent 25%, in Asia Pacific 40%, in North America 21%, in Japan 7%, in the rest of the world 7%, out of a total of 1,673 stores. Turning to brands, sales for Gucci in the first quarter of 2023 amounted to 2.616 billion euros, (+1% at both current and comparable rates). Certainly not a small number even if far from some extraordinary performances of just a couple of years ago. Direct sales (retail) increased +1% at comparable rates compared to the first quarter of 2022. All major product categories are growing, especially handbags, travel items and women’s clothing. Indirect sales (wholesale) decreased 7% at comparable rates. Asia Pacific takes the lead with 45% of Gucci’s sales, then North America with 21% and again Europe with 20%, out of a total number of 534 stores. Good first quarter for Saint Laurent with sales of 806 million euros (+9% at current rates and +8% at comparable rates). Direct sales (retail) grew by +14% at comparable rates, thanks in particular to the excellent performance of leather goods and clothing. Indirect sales (wholesale) fell by -12% at comparable rates, continuing the rationalization phase. The greatest successes in Asia Pacific with 31%, North America with 31%, Europe with 28% but only 5% in a sophisticated market like Japan. Bottega Veneta’s sales are stable compared to 2022, amounting to 395 million euros with many customers in Asia Pacific and Europe. Sales of other brands reached 890 million in the first quarter, down -9%. Direct sales, up by +7%, increased in all maisons. Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen show positive trends. Brioni recorded another very positive quarter in all regions, also thanks to the success of the sales of bespoke garments. The Maison has also launched a capsule collection dedicated to women, available in a selection of stores. Indirect sales, equal to -32% at comparable rates, are the result of the channel rationalization strategy by the Maisons and of the US market situation. Finally, good news for sales of Kering Eyewear which in the first three months amounted to 433 million euros, up by +11% at comparable base rates, driven by the dynamism of the brands in the portfolio in all geographical areas. At current rates, growth was +44% thanks to the strong contribution of Maui Jim consolidated in Kering’s balance sheet from October 1, 2022. This quarter, Kering Eyewear also completed the acquisition of the French company UNT, a manufacturer of mechanical components high precision metals for the luxury eyewear sector.

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