Dow Jones Newswires: Kering revenue rises, while net profit falls on one-offs

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Kering on Wednesday said its net profit for 2019 fell on one-offs, but that its fourth-quarter revenue grew strongly.

The French luxury-goods conglomerate KER, +3.18%  reported fourth-quarter revenue of 4.36 billion euros ($4.76 billion), up 11% on a comparable basis and bringing revenue for the year up to EUR15.88 billion, in line with analysts’ expectations of EUR15.8 billion.

Revenue for the year rose 13% on a comparable basis, Kering said.

Net profit for the year fell to EUR2.31 billion from EUR3.71 billion in 2018, in line with analysts’ expectations of EUR2.29 billion, according to a FactSet consensus.

Kering’s earnings last year were boosted by a one-off gain from the sale of part of its stake in sportswear maker Puma, while this year, the owner of Gucci and Bottega Veneta was hit by a $1.4 billion tax settlement in Italy.

Revenue at Gucci, by far Kering’s biggest label, grew 11% on a comparable basis during the last quarter of the year, roughly the same growth rate as the previous quarter. This was achieved despite the fact that sales in the Hong Kong region were down around 50%, Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix said in a call with the media.

This will likely reassure the market, which has been worried of fading momentum at the brand after a few years of strong growth.

The brand posted 6.2% comparable growth in North America, returning to growth after a weak few quarters following an outcry after the release of a sweater that critics likened to blackface.

The Paris-listed company proposed a dividend of EUR11.50 a share, up from EUR10.50 in 2018, and said it is confident in its medium and long-term growth potential. The company will comment on the coronavirus situation during a call later today, Duplaix said.

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