Market Pulse | All Systems Go

Savigny Luxury Index May 2011 | Source: Savigny Partners

LONDON, United Kingdom As luxury stock valuations continue to roar ahead, even as the overall market has stalled, and luxury brands go to private and public investors to finance further expansion, we take our monthly check of the Market Pulse to understand the key drivers.

Big news

• The Savigny Luxury Index continues its upward trend led by the bullish outlook for the sector in terms of both organic growth and acquisitions

• Continued good news flow with Hermès announcing outstanding Q1 results despite its exposure to Japan, which remains its largest market (representing almost a fifth of its revenues).  Burberry also posted stellar full year (end March 2011) results but signaled further investment in order to capitalise on the brand’s momentum

• There has been a flurry of M&A activity during the last month despite high valuations.  Puig acquired the fashion house Jean-Paul Gaultier from Hermès.  Labelux went on a shopping spree bagging Jimmy Choo from TowerBrook and Belstaff from the Malenotti family.  Department store group Coin was acquired by BC Partners.  French leather goods brand Le Tanneur was acquired by Qatar Luxury Group, owned by the Emir of Qatar’s spouse.  Chinese conglomerate Fosun bought a minority stake in the Greek jewellery brand Folli-Follie

Going up

• Hermès’s valuation continues to climb higher despite lack of clarity over Japan

• Strong Q1 results and bid speculation have fuelled Coach and Tiffany’s share prices

 

Going down

Ralph Lauren’s share price dipped after the company announced disappointing Q4 results due to higher operating costs

What to watch

• Strong growth potential in China is fuelling competition amongst brands who all want a slice of the pie.  This may drive overheads and rental costs up and put pressure on margins

Luxury Sector Valuation, May 2011

Pierre Mallevays is a contributing editor at The Business of Fashion and founder and managing partner of Savigny Partners, a corporate advisory firm focusing on the retail and luxury goods industry