Gucci helped its parent company bag record sales in 2017

Paris (AFP) - Blistering growth at Gucci helped propel French luxury group Kering to a new record in 2017, doubling net profits and sending sales above 15 billion euros.

With its stable of luxury brands that also includes Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and Brioni, Kering’s overall sales shot up more than 25 percent higher last year.

Amounting to 15.5 billion euros ($19.1 billion), sales also beat forecasts of 15.35-15.38 billion euros by analysts surveyed by Factset and Bloomberg.

“Kering delivered a phenomenal year in 2017,” said chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault.

“We created over three billion euros in additional revenues in a single year, and generated more than a billion in additional” earnings before interest and taxes.

Net profit shot up to 1.78 billion from 819 million euros in 2016.

Operating profit rose by 56 percent to 2.9 billion euros, while the operating margin rose to 19 percent.

“Gucci, whose performance was nothing short of spectacular, is amplifying its desirability across all markets,” said Pinault.

Sales at the Italian luxury fashion and leather goods brand leapt nearly 45 percent higher, crossing the six-billion-euro mark for the first time and accounting for more than a third of the group’s total sales.

Sales at Yves Saint Laurent rose by 25 percent.

Sales in the luxury division overall passed 10 billion euros for the first time.

Kering recently announced that it intends to become a luxury pure player and will distribute most of its holding in sportswear maker Puma to shareholders.

Sales at the leaping-cat brand jumped nearly 16 percent last year to over four billion euros.

Kering shares dropped nearly two percent in early trading, having shot 3.6 percent higher the day before, while the Paris market was down around 0.2 percent overall.