Kering said Wednesday that it is confident of further growth in the year ahead and that it will raise its dividend for 2022, despite a tough end to the year that saw a drop in sales at its core brand Gucci.
Fourth-quarter revenue at the French luxury-goods group KER, -0.92% fell 7% on a comparable basis to EUR5.28 billion ($5.67 billion), just short of analysts’ expectations for EUR5.48 billion, according to a FactSet-compiled poll.
For the full year, revenue was EUR20.35 billion, up 9% organically.
Gucci, which contributes a majority of group revenue, booked a 14% drop in fourth-quarter sales, Kering said, pointing to the situation in China, where strict pandemic measures remained in place in the quarter. Other houses, including Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, offset this with rising sales in the period, Kering said.
Recurring operating profit climbed 11% to EUR5.59 billion for the year, despite a lower margin at 27.5%. Gucci’s margin, notably, slipped to 35.6%, amid high investment aimed at nurturing future growth, Kering said.
Kering said it is confident of profitable growth in 2023, despite the challenging end to 2022 and an environment of economic and geopolitical uncertainty. In China, an end to strict pandemic measures led to a very encouraging start to the year in the country, finance chief Jean-Marc Duplaix said in a conference call ahead of the results.
For 2022, Kering will propose a total dividend of EUR14 a share, up from EUR12 previously, with the final dividend to be paid in May.
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