Kering sales fell 15.4% to 3.2 billion euros ($3.47 billion) in the first quarter, impacted, like its rivals, by store closures. That was a 16.4% drop like-for-like, which strips out the effect of acquisitions and currency swings.
At its star Gucci label, which powers most of its profits, like-for-like sales were down 23.2% in the period, contrasting with a less pronounced 13.8% drop-off at Kering’s Saint Laurent brand.
From the start of April, we’ve seen an improvement and positive trends for most of our brands in mainland China. Kering, like rival LVMH, said it was trimming its dividend payout against 2019 earnings by 30%. The firm, which also owns Balenciaga, has been one of the big winners of a luxury goods bonanza in recent years alongside LVMH, and Gucci in particular had been booming.
That has put the cash-rich conglomerates in a stronger position than some standalone brands that were already in turnaround mode when the coronavirus crisis hit.