Kering's stock market quotation opened 6 percent higher after the company reported an unexpected sales turnaround for its biggest brand. After suffering a decline of 7.9 percent in the first quarter, Gucci's sales increased by 4.6 percent on a comparable, constant-currency basis in the second quarter, with improvements in all categories. Translated into euros, they went up by 19.9 percent to €1,005.2 million.
For the first six months of the year, Gucci's sales of €1.87 billion were still 1.6 percent lower than in the year-ago period, and the brand's operating profit showed a drop of 4.9 percent to €502 million. With the appointment of a new management and a new artistic director earlier this year, Kering is optimistic for the second half of 2015. New products, new advertising and a new store design are expected to contribute to the recovery.
Gucci's growth in the second quarter was driven by higher traffic in Gucci stores in Western Europe and Japan, thanks in particular to higher flows of tourists from China and other countries. Reported sales increased by around 20 percent in both regions. They went up by 11 percent in North America and by only 3 percent in China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific territory.
Yves Saint Laurent continued its strong progress in the quarter, rising by 27.3 percent in local currencies and by 42.5 percent in euros. Sales of Saint Laurent shoes went up by 16 percent and other categories performed even better. Meanwhile, Puma confirmed its recovery, rising by 7.5 percent on a comparable basis during the quarter.
The good results of the second quarter helped Kering to post a 17.0 percent increase in consolidated revenues to €5,513 million for the first half of 2015, but the Ebitda margin declined to 17.6 percent and the group's net income went down by 13 percent to €489.2 million.