Kering’s Shares Dive 9% as Gucci Falters 

A logo of fashion house Gucci is seen outside a shop in Paris, France, April 15, 2024. (Reuters)
A logo of fashion house Gucci is seen outside a shop in Paris, France, April 15, 2024. (Reuters)
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Kering’s Shares Dive 9% as Gucci Falters 

A logo of fashion house Gucci is seen outside a shop in Paris, France, April 15, 2024. (Reuters)
A logo of fashion house Gucci is seen outside a shop in Paris, France, April 15, 2024. (Reuters)

Shares in French luxury group Kering fell by as much as 9.3% in early trade on Wednesday, to their lowest level in over 6 years, as the market digested news of a likely 40%-45% plunge in first-half operating profit.

First-quarter sales at Kering declined 10%, the company reported after the market close on Tuesday, as wealthy shoppers curbed spending on products from its star label Gucci, reflecting a wider slowdown in luxury buying.

In the all-important Chinese market, a property crisis and high youth unemployment have weighed on Chinese shoppers' appetite for high end fashion and the company does not expect much improvement in the second quarter, company executives told analysts.

So far this year, Kering's share price has lost around a fifth of its value.

Its dive on Wednesday to the lowest level since October 2017 put it on track for the biggest one-day drop since March 20, a day after a previous warning from Kering that dashed hopes it had stemmed sales declines at Gucci.

The century-old Italian fashion house, which accounts for half of group sales and two-thirds of profit, is undergoing an overhaul. Executives are seeking to reignite sales with an aesthetic reset, led by creative director Sabato de Sarno, and including an emphasis on leather goods.

Executives say that early products from the new Ancora collection, which include glossy Jackie bags and chunky, platform loafers, have been well received, but stores will not be fully stocked with the products until later this year.

Kering's performance dragged down other luxury companies, with Burberry - which is also revamping its brand - down 3%, while shares of larger rivals LVMH and Hermes were slightly lower, down 0.5% and 0.2% respectively.

While management is positive about margin recovery in the second half as the new Gucci collection becomes more available, analysts at JPMorgan said the execution risk was high.

"We think it is too early to turn more constructive on this turnaround journey," they said.



Italy’s Benetton Plans Restructuring as Losses Mount, Sources Say

A logo of United Colors of Benetton is seen in front of a store in Rome, Italy, July 21, 2020. (Reuters)
A logo of United Colors of Benetton is seen in front of a store in Rome, Italy, July 21, 2020. (Reuters)
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Italy’s Benetton Plans Restructuring as Losses Mount, Sources Say

A logo of United Colors of Benetton is seen in front of a store in Rome, Italy, July 21, 2020. (Reuters)
A logo of United Colors of Benetton is seen in front of a store in Rome, Italy, July 21, 2020. (Reuters)

Italy's Benetton family is readying plans to address mounting losses at its eponymous clothing retailer, including parting ways with CEO Massimo Renon after four years, two people close to the group said on Monday.

The board of the clothing group is expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss a net loss of around 230 million euros ($250 million) for 2023 which includes impairments, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

That compares with a net loss of 81 million euros in 2022, when revenues totaled 1 billion euros.

Benetton shareholders are then scheduled to meet on June 18, at which time Renon's CEO mandate will not be renewed, the two sources said.

Renon, who built his career in the eyewear industry working at Luxottica, Safilo and Marcolin, declined to comment.

The Benettons own the clothing group made famous by its colorful jumpers and provocative advertising campaigns through their Edizione holding company.

Edizione is preparing to back a restructuring of the clothing retailer and to inject 260 million euros, one of the sources said, adding that Edizione would exert closer control over the group.

Benetton has struggled to withstand growing competition from fast-fashion giants such as Zara owner Inditex which have developed a nimbler production and distribution model, able to more quickly respond to consumers' changing tastes.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday, Chairman Luciano Benetton, one of its founders, said the group had been expected to break even in 2023 under a three-year strategic plan, but a worse than expected financial situation had emerged in recent months.

Luciano Benetton told Corriere that current management, led by Renon, had surprised the board by unveiling a "dramatic" shortfall.

Founded in 1965 by Italy's Benetton family as a clothing manufacturer, Benetton expanded to trade through around 4,000 shops globally, according to its website. After listing the group in Milan in 1986, the Benettons took it private in 2012, the last year in which it made a profit.