PPR Q1 Earnings Beat Forecasts as U.S. Sales Rise

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PPRParis—PPR, which owns Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent, posted today a 9.1%  rise in its first-quarter sales, helped by growth in emerging markets and demand for luxurygoods in the United States.

Sales for the quarter hit 3.7 billion euros (about $5.43 billion), up 6.5% on a comparable basis and above analysts’ average estimate for 3.61 billion euros.

“Strong sales growth was driven by an excellent showing from our luxury and sport/lifestyle businesses, which altogether delivered double-digit growth in all geographic areas apart from Japan,” Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and ceo said.

U.S. Market Leads Sales in Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent

 By division, Gucci saw revenue jump 24% and 20% on a comparable basis with first quarter 2010.  North American led in sales performance, rising 35%. The Asia-Pacific region increased 26%. Sales were strong across all categories, particularly leathergoods which posted a 17% increase.

Bottega Veneta’s revenue surged 38% and 32% on a comparable basis with the same period a year ago. All geographic areas, except Japan, experienced double digit growth with Western Europe increasing 52% and Asia-Pacific up 51%. All product categories trended upward, PPR said, “buoyed by leathergoods, up 33%.”

Its Yves Saint Laurent division reported a 29% increase in sales, and 27% increase on a comparable basis. Sales to distributors rose 41% while sales in the brand’s own stores rose 25%. “Business was buoyant in both North America, up 40%, and Western Europe, up 34%,” PPR said. All categories reported double digit sales. Revenue for apparel was up 30% “thanks to well received men’s collections, while sales of shoes surged 40% powered by the continuing success of the Tribute and TribToo models.”

Sales in its other luxury brands, including Boucheron, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, were up 24% and 21% on a comparable basis with first quarter 2010.

Puma sales moved up 13%. All categories contributed to the growth momentum, including footwear, up 7%; apparel up 2% and accessories up 8%.

2011 Sales to Surpass 2010 Totals

PPR plans to sell Redcats and the Fnac electronics and media chain to focus on luxury goods and sports and lifestyle brands.

Based on these first quarter results, “I am therefore confident that in 2011 PPR will be able to maintain its revenue growth momentum and surpass its 2010 financial performance,” Pinault said in a statement.

PPR plans to sell Redcats and the Fnac electronics and media chain to focus on luxury goods and sports and lifestyle brands.

“PPR enjoyed revenue growth in all geographic areas with the exception of Japan, where the March 11 earthquake brought an end to the upward trend observed since the beginning of the year,” the company said in the statement.

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