Kering’s Jewelry Brands Shine in H1

FinancialsJul 28, 2023

Kering’s Jewelry Brands Shine in H1

The luxury titan also announced it acquired a 30 percent stake in Italian luxury brand Valentino and named a new CFO.

Diamond and emerald earring from Kering’s “New Maharajahs” high jewelry collection
Pictured here is a diamond and emerald earring from Kering-owned Boucheron’s “New Maharajahs” high jewelry collection. Kering’s jewelry brands put on a strong performance in its recent first-half results.
Paris—Kering’s jewelry brands were top performers in the luxury conglomerate’s recent first-half results.

Sales from its star brand Gucci, however, have continued to falter.

Kering has set its sights on another luxury brand, recently acquiring a 30 percent stake in Valentino with the option to raise the stakes to 100 percent by 2028.

Here are four important takeaways from Kering’s most recent earnings report.

Kering posted muted growth.

Kering reported second-quarter revenue of €5.06 billion ($5.57 billion), up 2 percent year-over-year.

For the first half, revenue totaled €10.14 billion ($11.15 billion), also up 2 percent year-over-year.

"In the first half, we pursued our investments in our Houses’ desirability and exclusivity. While engaging in critical forward-looking initiatives, we maintained a high level of profitability,” said CEO François-Henri Pinault in a statement.

Sales for Gucci, the luxury conglomerate’s star brand that has struggled in recent quarters, were down 3 percent in the second quarter and down 1 percent for the first half.

Revenue from Kering’s directly operated stores, which includes its e-commerce sites, was up 4 percent year-over-year on a comparable basis in the second quarter, driven by sales in Asia Pacific and Japan.

Growth in Western Europe was “solid” in the quarter, said Kering, while sales fell in North America.

Wholesale sales and other revenue were down 1 percent in the second quarter.

The company did not provide financial guidance for the year ahead, citing “an environment of ongoing economic and geopolitical uncertainty in the near term.”

LVMH echoed a similar sentiment in its recent results.

Jewelry sales were a standout in the “other houses” division.

The company’s jewelry brands fall into its “other houses” division, alongside Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.

Its jewelry portfolio consists of Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, and Qeelin.

Revenue in the division totaled €966 million ($1.06 billion) in the second quarter, down 2 percent year-over-year. For the first half, revenue in the category slipped 5 percent to €1.86 billion ($2.04 billion).

Its jewelry houses, however, “maintained their strong growth trajectory, each delivering double-digit growth,” said Kering.

Boucheron was “leading the way,” said Kering, adding that revenue growth at Pomellato and DoDo was “extremely robust.”

“Qeelin benefited from the rebound in the Chinese market but was hampered by the slowdown in South Korea, given the very high base of comparison,” the company said.

On an earnings call Thursday afternoon, Deputy CEO Jean-Marc Duplaix said Kering was “extremely pleased” by the continued growth of its jewelry brands.

“Our jewelry houses were up strong double digits in both channels, reflective of the appeal of their creations and investments we have made to broaden their visibility,” he said.

Duplaix was formerly the chief financial officer, a role that will be passed on to Armelle Poulou, the former director of corporate finance, treasury, and insurance, on Sept. 1, the company announced Friday morning.

Sales in the overall division in Kering’s directly operated retail network rose 9 percent on a comparable basis in the second quarter and 8 percent in the first half.

Wholesale revenue in the first half fell 27 percent due to the streamlining of its wholesale distribution. Kering also attributed the decline to “the mixed American market.”

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Sales in North America were down double-digits.

Kering’s sales in North America fell 23 percent year-over-year in the second quarter.

“After several quarters of strong growth until mid-2022, North America is the region where business levels are suffering most from weaker demand among the most aspirational customers and from American tourists shifting their purchases to other geographies, where they can buy at lower prices,” said Kering.

North America was Kering’s third-largest market by revenue percentage in the first half, accounting for 22 percent of total revenue, down from 27 percent in Q2 2022.

Japan saw the strongest growth in Q2 with revenue up 26 percent followed by Asia Pacific at 22 percent, and the rest of the world at 5 percent. Sales in Western Europe rose 4 percent year-over-year.

Kering operated 1,694 stores as of H1, adding a net 35 stores in the quarter.

Kering now has a stake in another luxury brand.

Following the release of its financial results, Kering announced it had acquired a stake in an Italian luxury brand Valentino.

Kering and Qatar-based investment fund Mayhoola entered into an agreement that gives Kering a 30 percent stake in Valentino for €1.7 billion.

Founded in Rome in 1960 by Valentino Garavani, the brand is one of Italy’s best-known luxury brands. 

Valentino currently has 211 directly operated stores in more than 25 countries with revenue of €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) in 2022.

The agreement includes an option for Kering to acquire 100 percent of the share capital of Valentino no later than 2028.

The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year, is part of a strategic partnership between the two, said Kering, which could lead to Mayhoola becoming a Kering shareholder.

“I am impressed with the evolution of Valentino under Mayhoola ownership and very delighted that Mayhoola has chosen Kering as its partner for the development of Valentino, a unique Italian house that is synonymous with beauty and elegance,” said Kering’s Arnault.

Rachid Mohamed Rachid, CEO of Mayhoola and Chairman of Valentino, added “Valentino is one of the ultimate Italian luxury authorities and we are very happy to welcome Kering as a strategic partner for the future development of the Maison de Couture.”

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