Kering 1st-Half Profits Boosted by Gucci -- Update

By Matthew Dalton Features Dow Jones Newswires

Luxury conglomerate Kering Co. said Thursday that profits soared in the first half of the year, powered by surging sales at its flagship brand, Italian fashion house Gucci.

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Net income was 826 million euros ($962.4 million), up 78% from the first half of 2016. That was mainly thanks to Gucci, where recurring operating income rose 69% to EUR907 million.

The results continue a run of strong sales growth for Gucci and its creative director, Alessandro Michele. Since he took the job in January 2015, his designs coupled have drawn droves of new customers to the brand.

French fashion label Saint Laurent, Kering's second-biggest brand, also delivered strong results, with recurring operating profits for the half rising 50% to EUR164 million.

Jean-Marc Duplaix, Kering's chief financial officer, said growth rates later this year would likely fall to a lower "new normal." That's because the luxury sector suffered from a slowdown in the first half of last year in the aftermath of the European terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, boosting the growth rates seen this half.

Yet Mr. Duplaix said Gucci in particular has the potential to boost sales further in product lines such as watches, designer glasses and perfume.

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Kering's sales in the second quarter were EUR3.7 billion, up 25% from last year.

Write to Matthew Dalton at matthew.dalton@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 27, 2017 17:04 ET (21:04 GMT)