By Lenore Fedow
A pair of arrow motif earrings from Kering-owned brand Gucci. The luxury conglomerate reported double-digit revenue growth in its fourth-quarter and full-year results.
Paris—Luxury conglomerate Kering reported double-digit revenue growth in its fourth-quarter and full-year results, including in its watches and jewelry division.

Fourth quarter overall revenue totaled €4.36 billion ($4 billion), an 11 percent increase on a comparable basis, while revenue for the full year rose 13 percent year-over-year to €15.38 billion ($14.1 billion).

Fourth quarter revenue in the watches and jewelry division totaled €699.9 million ($641.59 million), a 15 percent increase on a comparable basis.

For the full year, revenue in the category clocked in at €2.54 billion ($2.33 billion), an 18 percent jump year-over-year.

Net income for the full year fell 37 percent following a €1.25 billion ($1.36 billion) tax penalty paid to Italian authorities.

Online sales climbed 23 percent on an annual basis, while wholesale sales rose 10 percent.

Overall, Kering saw growth across all regions, including a 7 percent increase in North America, 20 percent in Asia-Pacific, 14 percent in Western Europe and a 6 percent increase in Japan.

Kering’s brand portfolio spans fashion, leather goods, watches and jewelry.

The company refers to its top-performing brands Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta as its main “houses,” while brands including Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, as well as watch and jewelry offerings, are referred to as the “other houses” division.

“Performance was solid double-digit in jewelry with Boucheron, Pomellato and Qeelin taking advantage of the success of their collections and improved market coverage,” Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix said on the earnings call Wednesday morning.

Kering highlighted its “successful investment” in Boucheron and Qeelin, which recently expanded its presence in mainland China.

Looking at its performance in China, Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault said on the call the environment had “changed significantly” in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which was responsible for 1,100 deaths worldwide as of Wednesday morning.

Pinault said that about half of its stores in China are closed and those remaining open have seen a drop in traffic and shortened operating hours, leading to a “strong drop” in sales.

The company has postponed events, product launches, and store openings in the area and has begun moving inventory from China to other regions.

“Due to the evolving nature of the situation, it is impossible at this time to fully evaluate the impact on our businesses and how fast they will recover,” he said.

Investment group Jefferies estimated Chinese buyers made up about 40 percent of the €281 billion ($306 billion) spent on luxury goods worldwide in 2019 and drove 80 percent of the growth, as per a report from the Financial Times.

“The fourth quarter was great, but we need more information on current issues in China,” Jefferies analyst Flavio Cereda said to the FT. “The underlying strength of the business bodes well for the second half.”

Kering did not provide guidance for the year ahead but noted it “remains confident” in its growth potential.

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