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Polet’s Debut for Gucci: CEO Lauds ‘Mini-Boom’ As Profits Climb 33%

PPR’s net income shot up 61.5 percent to 191.1 million euros, boosted by luxury goods, but was well shy of expectations of about 360 million euros.

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But Polet, giving his first public address since succeeding Domenico De Sole, owned the spotlight at the meeting.

“I’ve visited 163 stores,” Polet said, speaking in Dutch-accented English to a largely French audience gathered at a meeting room atop the Printemps department store. “I’ve visited about 100 of the competition’s stores, and I’ve met or spoken to about 2,500 people [who work at Gucci]. I’m not tired. I’m actually energized, because I like what I see.”

PPR did not break out sales for the Gucci Group in the quarter. But Polet reported robust Gucci sales from May to July, reflecting the upswing in the sector, which has been buoyed by the American and Asian markets.

He said there has been a “mini boom” in luxury spending in the U.S. and that Japanese consumers were spending in tourist destinations such as South Korea and Hawaii. Sales in the Asia Pacific region were thriving, he added.

From May to July, Gucci brand sales gained 16 percent, while YSL climbed 21.5 percent, Polet said. YSL Beauté grew 9.5 percent, and Bottega Veneta surged 77 percent. Overall, Gucci Group sales grew 15.5 percent in the three months.

By region, Gucci Group sales in Asia from May to July soared 30 percent, followed by 18.5 percent growth in the U.S. and 13 percent growth in Europe. Japan gained 6 percent.

Leather goods, Gucci’s biggest category, saw sales gain 22 percent, followed by 20.5 percent growth in watch sales, which Polet said “were on the up.” With those words, he flashed a new Gucci timepiece on his wrist.

Sales of ready-to-wear gained 14.5 percent, footwear increased 12.5 percent and fragrances and makeup grew 8 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively. The only category with declining sales was jewelry, which was hurt by restructuring at Boucheron.

Polet said sales of the first post-Tom Ford cruise collections by Gucci’s women’s wear designer Alessandra Facchinetti and Yves Saint Laurent’s Stefano Pilati, two of Ford’s underlings, had been good.

Pilati and Facchinetti make formal runway debuts in front of the international press within the next month.
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