Jun 19, 2017
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Kering's Yves Saint Laurent expects to double sales in mid-term

Jun 19, 2017

Yves Saint Laurent, French luxury group Kering's second-biggest brand, expects to nearly double revenue in three to five years while boosting profits, adding to its recent strong growth, the company said on Monday.

Francesca Bellettini, president and chief executive of the fashion house since September 2013, said the goal was to lift sales from 1.2 billion euros in 2016 to 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in the mid-term and 3 billion euros in the longer term.

The house's achieved great momentum under the direction of Hedi Slimane, who served as creative director from 2012-2016. Here a look from his Fall-Winter 2016 collection staged in Los Angeles.

YSL also aims to raise its operating margin from 22 percent in 2016 to 25 percent mid-term, and 27 percent long-term.

"This company was really a Ferrari. So we gave it the engine of a Ferrari and not the engine of a Cinquecento and now it will go as a Ferrari should go," Bellettini told reporters at Yves Saint Laurent Investor Day.

The company expects higher sales which will be spurred from a variety of measures including opening more stores, developing its eyewear, silk and jewelry categories, as well as more investment in digital businesses and travel retail.

Other key moves have included giving more autonomy to the chief operating officers in each YSL division, and looking to focus more on local clients, who now make over 60 percent of the YSL brand's clientbase.

Bellettini said YSL aimed to continue to outperform the broader luxury goods market, which Bain & Co expects will grow at an annual growth rate of 3-4 percent to reach 280 billion-290 billion euros in sales by 2020.

YSL is now the second-biggest brand in the Kering luxury portfolio after Italy's Gucci, accounting for 14 percent of the sales of the luxury division, and having multiplied its sales by more than four times since end-2010.

Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello joined in April 2016, and he has sought to build on the success achieved under his predecessor, star designer Hedi Slimane.

Slimane, who had been at the brand's creative helm since 2012, had injected a more 'grungey' aesthetic to great commercial success to the iconic brand founded in 1961.

Last year, YSL's revenues rose 25.5 percent on a comparable basis - its sixth consecutive year of above 20 percent growth - while recurring operating income jumped 59.3 percent.

Western Europe acccounted for 38 percent of sales last year, Asia Pacific and North America 23 percent each, and Japan 9 percent.

Bellettini said the plan was to increase the stores network to 200 from 159, opening 20 stores per year. In China alone, the number of stores could rise to 25-30 from 18.

Overall, the YSL brand planned to spend 5 percent of its revenue on capital expenditures each year, said Bellettini, who added that YSL would also step up its E-Commerce push in order to capture more tech-savvy "Millennial" customers.

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