PARIS, France — Kering SA reported second-quarter revenue that exceeded analysts’ estimates as surging demand for Saint Laurent dresses helped compensate for falling sales of Gucci handbags. The company also said it agreed to buy all of Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin.
Sales climbed 4 percent on a comparable basis, Paris-based Kering said today in a statement after European markets closed. Analysts predicted 3.1 percent growth, according to the median of 20 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. First-half recurring operating income fell 3.9 percent to 810 million euros, ($1.08 billion), compared with the 800 million-euro median estimate.
Kering contrasts with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, whose first-half earnings trailed estimates. LVMH, the world’s largest luxury-goods maker, said last week that Asian demand for fashion and leather goods weakened significantly in the second quarter amid political unrest in Hong Kong, fueling concern that shoppers are tiring of the largest luxury brands.
Kering said today it anticipates an improvement in operating performance in the second half of the year and a return to positive revenue trends.
Comparable sales for Gucci fell 2.4 percent in the second quarter, falling short of analysts’ estimates for no growth for the brand. Sales of Saint Laurent rose 29 percent in the period, Kering said, exceeding the 22 percent gain predicted by analysts.
Kering shares fell 2 percent to 152.30 euros today in Paris. The stock has declined about 12 percent in the last year, giving the maker of Balenciaga shoes and Volcom shorts a market value of 19.2 billion euros.
By Andrew Roberts; editors: Celeste Perri, Kim McLaughlin.