Kering’s 2019 plans towards potential acquisitions, while aiming to drive Bottega Veneta beyond leather goods

“When we look at leather articles supply, we still observe some gaps. This is the sector we are most actively working on. We consider some opportunities simply because it makes sense”. Such are the remarks François-Henri Pinault, chief executive officer of Kering, pointed out, earlier this week, while presenting the annual accomplishments achieved by the French luxury giant. We may assume, after his words, that Kering is possibly planning to carry out new acquisitions in the leather goods business: “At present we have remarkable financial assets, which keep up on a regular basis, therefore we can seize several opportunities: however, the organic growth of our fashion houses is still the group’s top priority. Obviously, if we happened to come across some chances that match our goals, both in terms of positioning and style trends, surely we would manage to take advantage of them”. Bottega Veneta is one of the brands Pinault does want to revitalize, as revenues have been dropping over the last three years: at the end of 2018, sales decreased by 5,7%, therefore amounting to 1,1 billion euros. It is no coincidence, then, that a few months ago they appointed Daniel Lee as new creative director (for the records, he has just launched his first collection), aiming, at the same time, to change the brand into a “total” fashion trademark. Leather goods account for 84% of sales, footwear accounts for 7%, clothing 6% (other items 3%). According to Kering’s plan, Bottega Veneta should expand in the last three sectors. “Prospective expectations are good in terms of business perception and records of deliveries. A market segment, which most demands for this kind of creativity, is currently overlooked by fashion brands. That will turn out to be a great opportunity for Bottega Veneta”, remarked Pinault. Yet sales are expected to improve not before the second half of 2019, pointed out Jean-Marc Duplaix, Kering’s chief financial officer.

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