Business / Business of Luxury

Kering Group’s Saint Laurent Surges with 37% Growth in Q1 2022

The group’s profit-making brand, Gucci, misses target due to Covid-19 lockdowns in China.

Apr 22, 2022 | By Joseph Low
Saint Laurent
Image: Saint Laurent

Luxury conglomerate Kering has announced its first quarter financial results of 2022 and overall, the group’s revenue rose by 21 per cent on a comparable basis to €4.96 billion. The parent company of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta said that all of its fashion and jewellery houses registered double-digit growth in the first three months of the year.

In a press release, Kering stated that its sales growth was supported by strong momentum in North America and Western Europe, and Japan. However, in the Asia-Pacific region, the results were mixed as new Covid-related lockdown measures have forced the group to close many of its stores in major Chinese cities like Shanghai.

More specifically, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, noted that “Gucci’s strong showing in North America and Europe was overshadowed by its exposure to China, where we are boosting its organisation to fully capture the vitality of the market.”

Revenue at the Italian house grew by 13.4 per cent in Q1 to €2.59 billion compared to the same period last year. Gucci’s sales have been swinging since the Q3 of 2021 where it rose 3.8 per cent due to the resurgence of the delta variant. But for Q4 2021, Gucci’s sales skyrocketed by 32 per cent. Analysts also described the brand’s growth to be decelerating.

At Saint Laurent, the fashion house posted the biggest jump among the other brands. Its sales went up about 37.2 per cent, beating predications of 24 per cent. Total sales was at €739 million. Jean-Marc Duplaix, Kering’s chief financial officer, attributed to the brand’s “clear strategy on merchandising and distribution” as key to its successful Q1. Furthermore, he also shared that “Saint Laurent is historically strong with local clients, and less reliant on tourist flows.”

Saint Laurent FW22 Look 1
Look 1. Image: Saint Laurent

Bottega Veneta sales gained 16.3 per cent to €396 million, which Duplaix said it is thanks to an “iconisation strategy consistently deployed.” The brand recently showed its Fall/Winter 2022 collection under the direction of its new artistic director Matthieu Blazy.

For the “other houses”, which include Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Brioni in fashion and Boucheron, Pomellato and Qeelin in jewellery, the group reported a 35 per cent growth with revenue of €973.4 million.

“We opened 2022 on a very solid first quarter in a more uncertain environment, notably impacted by tightening Covid restrictions in China since March. All our Houses posted double-digit revenue growth in the quarter, with spectacular performances at Saint Laurent, our Other Houses, particularly Balenciaga, and Kering Eyewear. Bottega Veneta also delivered sharp higher sales on a more demanding base,” said Pinault regarding Kering’s Q1 performance.

“Gucci’s strong showing in North America and Europe was overshadowed by its exposure to China, where we are boosting its organisation to fully capture the vitality of the market. While we remain attentive to economic and geopolitical conditions, we invest in all our brands, whose attractivity will continue to fuel our growth and profitability.”

LVMH also released its Q1 results and reported a 29 per cent growth in revenue to €18 billion, with star brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior leading the charge.

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