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Gucci revamp, YSL strength help Kering beat forecasts

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Gucci revamp, YSL strength help Kering beat forecasts

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PARIS (Reuters) – French luxury group Kering <PRTP.PA> delivered a forecast-beating rise in first-half operating profit on Thursday reflecting a continued revival at its biggest brand, Italy’s Gucci, and a strong showing by fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. Kering, whose good results were further evidence of a recovery in the wider luxury sector, said its “excellent” first-half performance raised confidence in its capacity to achieve another year of sales growth and improved operating performance. Second quarter comparable sales at Gucci, which makes over 60 percent of Kering’s profit and whose products are endorsed by celebrities such as singer Rihanna, rose 39.3 percent, beating analysts’ expectations of 32 percent growth. This compared with already spectacular growth of 48.3 percent achieved in the first quarter. Kering’s Yves Saint Laurent posted comparable sales growth of 23.7 percent, against average expectations of 25 percent growth, while sales at Bottega Veneta rose 1.7 percent First-half recurring operating profit rose 57.1 percent to 1.274 billion euros (1.14 billion pounds), with operating margin at Gucci reaching a record 32 percent of sales. Analysts polled by Inquiry Financial for Reuters eyed operating profit of 1.232 billion euros.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Callus)
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