Strength in China and higher Gucci sales lift Kering in Q4

PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Gucci owner Kering reported a 24.2 percent rise in comparable sales in the fourth quarter, slightly above forecasts even against a cooling economic backdrop in China.

Kering, which posted record profits for 2018 as a whole, said revenues rose 24.5 percent to 3.8 billion euros ($4.29 billion) in the October to December period. Analysts polled by Infront Data for Reuters had forecast sales would rise 22.6 percent on a comparable basis.

“Sales among our Chinese clientele remained very dynamic in the fourth quarter, even with a high comparison base,” Financial Director Jean-Marc Duplaix told journalists.

Momentum at Italian fashion label Gucci, one of the luxury industry’s fastest-growing brands of recent years, slowed compared to the previous quarter, but was still better than expected by some analysts and trumped growth at many rivals. (Reporting by Sarah White and Pascale Denis; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)