April 24, 2018 / 3:52 PM / a year ago

Kering beats forecasts for Q1 as Gucci sales take off

PARIS, April 24 (Reuters) - Gucci-parent Kering on Tuesday posted better-than-expected revenue for the first quarter, as shoppers from Asia and the United States in particular showed enduring appetite for the Italian luxury label’s fashion and handbags.

Kering said sales grew 36.5 percent in the first quarter on a comparable basis, which strips out currency swings and disposals or acquisitions. Analysts had expected sales growth of around 24 percent.

Kering’s sales figures no longer include sportwear firm Puma , which it is set to spin off to its shareholders by mid-May, or Stella McCartney and skate clothing firm Volcom, at varying stages of parting ways with the group.

The group’s star label, Gucci, has continued to stump expectations of a slowdown against a tough comparison base. The brand’s like-for-like revenues expanded 49 percent year on year in the quarter, speeding up from the previous three months.

“Throughout the year there should be a progressive normalisation,” Chief Finance Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix told journalists, adding that the pace of sales growth at Gucci would nevertheless remain very high. (Reporting by Sarah White and Pascale Denis, Editing by Dominique Vidalon)

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