Kering's Gucci sales growth slows in first quarter, below expectations

French luxury group Kering's flagship Gucci brand posted a lower-than-expected rise in first-quarter sales on Thursday.


Gucci

Gucci posted 3.1 percent growth in comparable sales, below analysts' expectations of 5 to 6 percent and slowing from 4.8 percent growth in the last quarter of 2015.

Kering's second luxury brand Bottega Veneta posted an 8.3 percent drop in comparable sales, suffering from its strong exposure to Asian clientele.

The luxury goods industry has had a difficult start to the year, partly due to the Chinese economic slowdown and a sharp drop in tourist traffic in shopping hotspots such as Paris, Milan and Hong Kong and Macau.

The Kering group overall posted 2.724 billion euros in first quarter sales, below expectations in a Reuters poll of 2.767 billion euros.

"Kering's solid first-quarter 2016 performance in a challenging market environment bears testimony to our focus on driving organic growth," François-Henri Pinault, Kering's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said in a statement.

"We are confident that we can extend our growth trajectory over the full year thanks to our multi-brand model, our continued strict operating and financial discipline, and the top-quality work of all our teams."

Kering is among the last of luxury groups to report first-quarter sales after rivals Prada, LVMH, Richemont and Burberry have all said they were suffering from weaker demand since the start of the year.

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