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Kering's profit halves as Gucci growth stalls

Kering's profit halves as Gucci growth stalls
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Fewer rich tourists visiting Europe meant luxury-goods brand Gucci’s sales growth slowed to its weakest in four years.

Gucci is the flagship label of the Kering group, which saw its net profit for last year tumble to 50 million euros from just over one billion in 2012.

Chief Executive Francois-Henri Pinault said he was confident the company, which also includes brands like Yves Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta, would increase revenue and recurring operating income this year.

Pinault said it will focus on achieving profitable organic growth in its luxury elements and a relaunch plan for its Puma sportswear brand.

With logo-heavy products falling out of favour, Gucci has sought to strengthen its higher-end offering with more logo-discreet leather bags and fewer canvas bags.

Kering Finance Director Jean-Marc Duplaix said said the brand’s trading in China improved in the last quarter and its operating profit margin rose slightly in the second half to 31.9 percent from 31.7 percent a year earlier.