Kering Is Appropriately Freaking Out Over Its Most Profitable Year on Record

*Money-money-money-moneyyyyyyyy, money!*
By Maura Brannigan ,

A look from Balenciaga's Spring 2018 runway show. Photo:  Catwalking/Getty Images

Kering did not exactly keep what we'd call a low profile in 2017 — and why would they have? Their brands are facing literally uncharted levels of success right now, like, to start, the exponential growth spurt that's been coming out of Gucci all year long. Kering's portfolio has been doing so well, in fact, that it even spun off the majority of its Puma shares to more directly focus on its luxury businesses. It's not like Puma was performing poorly or anything; Kering just wanted to keep its eyes on the prize — and that prize is *cue "For the Love of Money" by The O'Jays* money-money-money-moneyyyyyyyy, money!

The French luxury conglomerate announced its full-year earnings on Monday, over which they're doing what we Americans like to call "freaking out." Fashion journalist Christina Binkley even tweeted that Kering's earnings press release reads "like a disco party," and she's not wrong. As it turns out, 2017 was Kering's most profitable year on record, with revenue up a reported 27.2 percent as compared to last year. Its luxury offerings — including Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga — were up 29.9 percent from 2016, while its sport and lifestyle brands — like Puma — were up 14.7 percent.

Luxury, it seems, was the real star, but you knew that already: Revenue for Kering's luxury brands topped €10 billion mark in 2017, or a 29.9 percent increase year-over-year. Gucci and Saint Laurent delivered what a press release calls "spectacular" growth, up 44.6 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively, while its other luxury brands saw an "acceleration" in revenue, too. Demna Gvasalia's Balenciaga reportedly delivered the fastest growth rate of all of Kering's luxury brands in the second half of 2017.

Puma didn't perform too shabbily, either, with its comparable revenue rising 15.8 percent to hit €4 billion for the first time. But even so, those aren't Gucci numbers; it's no wonder why Kering would want to devote extra-attention to what's already working so very well.

In a statement, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO, said:

All of our Houses enjoy huge growth potential, rooted in their skills at reinventing codes, enhancing desirability through bold creative visions, and thereby creating value. We unequivocally demonstrated the strength of our business model. In a global environment that remains uncertain, we will not relax our vigilance, but we are confident that the complementarity of our Houses, our geographic footprint, the diversity of our customer base and the strengths of an integrated Luxury Group will enable us, this year again, to do much better than our markets.

It looks like now's a pretty good time for Balenciaga to whip up a few more of those Kering sweatshirts — it certainly has the money for it.

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