Growth at Kering's Gucci brand slower than expected in Q2

PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) - French luxury goods group Kering reported a solid rise in operating profit and sales in the second quarter on Thursday, though revenues expanded at a slower-than-expected pace at its key Gucci brand.

The conglomerate relies on Gucci for the bulk of its sales and profit, and investors are keeping a close watch on the extent to which it might lose steam after three years of explosive growth.

Overall, Kering posted a 15.9% rise in revenue for the April to June period to 3.85 billion euros ($4.30 billion), up 13.2% on a comparable basis, roughly in line with analyst forecasts.

The group’s share of net profit for the first half of 2019 fell sharply from a year earlier, down 75% to 580 million euros, hit in part by a fine from Italian tax authorities after it agreed in May to settle a dispute centered on Gucci’s revenues. ($1 = 0.8961 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White and Pascale Denis; editing by Michel Rose)