PARIS, July 26 (Reuters) - Kering, owner of high-end brands including Gucci and Balenciaga, on Thursday posted higher-than-expected operating profit for the first half of the year as luxury firms weather concerns over the U.S.-China trade dispute hitting demand.
The Paris-based conglomerate said its recurring operating income rose 53 percent year-on-year to 1.77 billion euros ($2.06 billion), a touch above the 1.73 billion euros average forecast in an Inquiry Financial poll of analysts.
Kering’s top brand Gucci, in the spotlight as it looks to build on a recent sales boom to overtake luxury rivals like LVMH’s Louis Vuitton, kept up its momentum, with revenue growth slowing slightly but still well above most peers.
In the second quarter, comparable revenues at the Italian fashion label were up 40.1 percent from a year ago, following growth of nearly 49 percent in the first three months of the year. ($1 = 0.8576 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Leigh Thomas)