Wednesday, October 21, 2009

PPR Falls in Paris on Missed Sales Estimates, Gucci’s Decline

PPR Falls in Paris on Missed Sales Estimates, Gucci’s Decline

By Ladka Bauerova

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- PPR SA, the owner of the Gucci brand, fell the most since July in Paris trading after reporting revenue that missed analysts’ estimates, hurt by declining luxury-goods orders in the U.S. and western Europe.

Sales dropped 7.6 percent to 4.56 billion euros ($6.8 billion) from 4.94 billion euros a year earlier, Paris-based PPR said yesterday after stock markets closed, below the 4.63 billion-euro median estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. At Gucci Group, which accounts for almost a fifth of revenue, the sales drop accelerated to 6.4 percent.

Chief Financial Officer Jean-Francois Palus blamed the shortfall on a “low point” in demand from third-party luxury retailers such as U.S. and western European department stores. Gucci’s figures were worse than those posted earlier this week by PPR’s largest rival, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, whose Louis Vuitton brand posted growth on “exceptional” demand for its handbags in China.

“The market may have expected a positive surprise” for PPR after Vuitton’s figures, Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet said in a note this morning, calling the figures “a bit light.”

PPR shares fell as much as 6 percent, the most since July 2, and were down 3.49 euros, or 4.1 percent, to 81.68 euros at 10:38 a.m. in Paris. The stock has gained 75 percent this year, outperforming LVMH, which has risen 52 percent.

Gucci Group’s decline was paced by a 3.2 percent drop at the core Gucci brand. Excluding currency moves, Gucci brand stores open at least a year saw their sales decline 8 percent. Palus said a lull in tourism by rich shoppers, especially from Russia and the Middle East, hurt Gucci Group outlets in Monte Carlo, Cannes and Paris.

Analysts including Luca Solca of Sanford C. Bernstein said PPR sales may rebound in the fourth quarter, as wholesale customers are likely to replenish their inventories.


No comments: