Gucci accounts for more than half of sales by the luxury group Kering

Paris (AFP) - French luxury group Kering said Tuesday its sales had surpassed pre-pandemic levels, driven by its leading brand Gucci, as profits leapt higher.

Sales in the first half of the year hit 8 billion euros ($9.5 billion), beating consensus analyst forecasts.

While that was a 50-percent jump from the same period last year, when many of the shops of its brands were closed due to pandemic lockdowns, it was also an 8.4 percent rise from 2019.

Net profit jumped by five from last year to 1.5 billion euros.

CEO Francois-Henri Pinault said the company had “resumed its trajectory of strong, profitable growth”.

The profit margin on recurring operations came in at 27.8 percent of sales, considerably better than last year, but still shy of the 29.5 percent registered in the first half of 2019.

The North America and Asia-Pacific regions drove the increase in sales.

Gucci, the group’s leading brand accounting for more than half of revenue, saw its sales return to their pre-pandemic level. Its profit margin from recurring operations was above average at 37.8 percent, but several points lower than in 2019.

Kering said it “remains confident in its growth potential for the medium and long term” despite the luxury market still being highly dependent on developments in the health situation and associated restrictions in various countries.