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Louis Vuitton has announced that renowned leather goods designer and former creative director of Mulberry Johnny Coca will join the French luxury giant’s handbag division.

To be precise, Spanish-born designer has been named the label’s new women's fashion leather goods director - a role he will begin on 2 June and which will see him work closely with womenswear creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière.

“I am proud to join Nicolas Ghesquière and the Louis Vuitton teams to develop the women's handbag lines and fine leather goods,” Coca said in a statement. “For me, this is a real return to my roots, where I had the chance to live my passion for the first time and to learn the fundamentals of my profession in the heart of the workshops in Asnières. A new stage in my own creative journey is now opening up for me in this laboratory between heritage and modernity.”

Ghesquière said: “I welcome Johnny to the Maison Louis Vuitton and I am happy that he is joining me in this adventure that started several years ago. years. The teams and I look forward to working with him in the universe inspiring Louis Vuitton.”

Johnny Coca returns to Louis Vuitton

This isn’t the first time Coca will be working for the French label, in fact he began his career in the leather goods division of Louis Vuitton after studying at the Beaux-Arts and the School of Arts Boulle appliqués in Paris. He then moved on to Bally and then Celine where he worked alongside Phoebe Philo.

In 2015, he was named creative director of British luxury handbag label Mulberry.

Louis Vuitton executive vice president Delphine Arnault welcomed the designer’s arrival. “I am delighted with Johnny's return to Louis Vuitton and the LVMH Group,” she said. “He will enrich our creative force and our capacity for innovation. Johnny knows the spirit of Louis Vuitton and shares our vision, and I am delighted that he is joining us.”

Photo credit: Louis Vuitton

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”26-05-2020”

LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault is to buy a stake in the holding company of French billionaire Arnaud Lagardere, the owner of his eponymous and indebted publishing house, Lagardere.

It will amount to around 25 percent of the share capital, according to a joint press release from Lagardere Capital & Management and Groupe Arnault.

It comes as the company looks for new investors to help fend off activist fund Amber Capital which has demanded drastic changes at the company including an attempt to replace its supervisory board.

French billionaires Vincent Bollore and Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere have also recently bought stakes in the firm.

Amber Capital is currently the Lagardère Group's largest shareholder with 18 percent of the capital.

“This merger will strengthen LC&M's structure and financial capabilities. The family groups of Bernard Arnault and Arnaud Lagardère will act in concert with respect to Lagardère SCA,” the joint press release said.

Arnault said: “I welcome Arnaud Lagardère's proposal to join forces with him. My friendship with Jean-Luc Lagardère (Arnaud’s father) has bound our families together and I have the utmost respect for the group he has built.”

The partnership agreement remains subject to “approval by the competent social bodies within the entities concerned”, according to the press release.

Photo: Bernard Arnault, courtesy of AFP - Francois Guillot

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”25-05-2020”

Safilo and Ports (Ports Asia Holding) have announced a new ten-year license agreement for the design, manufacture and distribution of Ports branded sunglasses and optical frames. The company said in a statement that this agreement, which is set to cover the Mainland China market, foresees the first right option for Safilo to expand distribution in the market. The first eyewear collection will be launching in January 2021.

“China is a key strategic market in our development plans, and we know how important it is for eyewear brands to be locally relevant to their target groups, especially in China, which is very specific, not only in terms of fitting but also with distinct tastes and local consumer trends,” said Angelo Trocchia, CEO of Safilo Group.

Founded in Toronto in 1961, the company added, Ports was the first luxury fashion label to enter the Chinese market in the early 90s.

“The Ports brand is well known for its clean and minimalistic design and close attention to unique details and impeccable craftsmanship. We count on Safilo as the best player to partner with, and together we will work to grow the eyewear category and expand it broadly throughout our country,” added Rolando Santana, Director of Ports Asia Holdings Limited.

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”25-05-2020”

Burberry Group plc has announced that Jeremy Darroch, independent non-executive director and senior independent director is leaving the company has due to his other executive commitments, and that he will not stand for re-election at the company’s forthcoming annual general meeting on July 15, 2020.

Commenting on the board changes, Gerry Murphy, Burberry’s Chairman, said in a statement: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Jeremy for his outstanding contribution to Burberry’s development over the last six years. We shall miss his wisdom and experience and we wish him the very best for the future.”

Darroch had joined the board in February 2014 becoming senior independent director on July 1, 2017. He also served as chair of the audit committee from August 1, 2016 to February 6, 2019.

The company added that Dame Carolyn McCall, who has been an Independent Non-Executive Director since September 1, 2014, will assume the role of Senior Independent Director with effect from the company’s forthcoming AGM.

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”22-05-2020”

Alibaba Group Holding Limited reported revenue of 114,314 million Chinese yuan (16,144 million dollars), an increase of 22 percent year-over-year for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. However, the group’s net income attributable to ordinary shareholders was 3,162 million Chinese yuan (447 million dollars), a decrease of 88 percent and net income was 348 million Chinese yuan (49 million dollars), a decrease of 99 percent year-over year. The company’s diluted earnings per share were 0.14 Chinese yuan (2 cents or 0.15 Hong Kong dollar) and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were 1.15 Chinese yuan (16 cents or 1.26 Hong Kong dollar), an increase of 7 percent.

“Alibaba achieved the historic milestone of 1 trillion dollars in GMV across our digital economy this fiscal year,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group, adding, “Our overall business continued to experience strong growth, with a total annual active consumer base of 960 million globally, despite concluding the fiscal year with a quarter impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Review of Alibaba’s first quarter results

Alibaba’s annual active consumers on China retail marketplaces reached 726 million, an increase of 15 million from the 12-month period ended December 31, 2019, while mobile MAUs reached 846 million in March 2020, an increase of 22 million over December 2019.

The company added that income from operations was 7,131 million Chinese yuan (1,007 million dollars), a decrease of 19 percent, primarily due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Adjusted EBITDA increased 1 percent to 25,440 million Chinese yuan (3,593 million dollars), while non-GAAP net income was 22,287 million Chinese yuan (3,148 million dollars), an increase of 11 percent. Diluted earnings per ADS were 1.16 Chinese yuan (16 cents) and non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS were 9.20 Chinese yuan (1.30 dollars), an increase of 7 percent.

Highlights of Alibaba’s full year financial performance

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, Alibaba reported revenue of 509,711 million Chinese yuan (71,985 million dollars), an increase of 35 percent, while annual active consumers for the Alibaba Digital Economy reached 960 million globally, including 780 million consumers in China and 180 million consumers outside China. Annual active consumers on China retail marketplaces reached 726 million, an increase of 72 million from the 12-month period ended March 31, 2019, while mobile MAUs on China retail marketplaces reached 846 million in March 2020, an increase of 125 million over March 2019. GMV transacted in the Alibaba Digital Economy was 7,053 billion Chinese yuan (1 trillion dollars) for fiscal year 2020, which mainly included China retail marketplaces GMV of 6,589 billion Chinese yuan (945 billion dollars), as well as international retail marketplaces and local consumer services GMV.

Income from operations was 91,430 million Chinese yuan (12,912 million dollars), an increase of 60 percent, while adjusted EBITDA, increased 29 percent to 157,659 million Chinese yuan (22,266 million dollars). Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders was 149,263 million Chinese yuan (21,080 million dollars), and net income was 140,350 million Chinese yuan (19,821 million dollars), while non-GAAP net income was 132,479 million Chinese yuan (18,710 million dollars), an increase of 42 percent year-over-year.

Diluted earnings per ADS were 55.93 Chinese yuan (7.90 dollars) and non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS were 52.98 Chinese yuan (7.48 dollars), an increase of 38 percent. The company further said that diluted earnings per share were 6.99 Chinese yuan (99 cents or 7.65 Hong Kong dollars) and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were 6.62 Chinese yuan (93 cents or 7.25 Hong Kong dollars), an increase of 38 percent year-over-year.

Picture:Alibaba media resources

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”22-05-2020”

Clarks is set to cut around 900 jobs as part of its ‘Made To Last’ transformation strategy.

The 195-year-old British footwear retailer said it has already announced 160 redundancies this week, including 108 at its headquarters in Street, Somerset.

While 900 jobs are expected to go overall, it will be partially balanced by the creation of around 200 jobs. The company expects approximately 700 employees to leave the company over the coming 18 months.

It comes as part of the retailer’s ‘Made to Last’ strategy which aims to ensure the company has a “sustainable and successful future” as it continues to adapt to the increasingly online retail landscape and the impact of Covid-19.

One hundred and seventy job cuts were made when the strategy was announced at the end of last year.

“There are exciting opportunities ahead for our business, and we are having to make some difficult decisions to get there. We thank all affected staff for their contribution to our business and they leave their roles with our heartfelt respect and support,” said Clarks CEO Giorgio Presca in a statement.

Clarks presses forward with turnaround strategy

The company also announced that it has begun to reopen its stores in China and in some markets in Europe and “is closely following guidance from the governments and health authorities” in the UK, US and elsewhere.

In terms of addressing its short-term liquidity needs, the Clarks leadership team has been “reviewing funding options with selected advisors to confidently position the business to deliver its strategy and enable future growth.”

Presca also confirmed that Clarks is now focusing on “expanding the use of digital and social channels to connect with consumers” as part of its long-term strategy. The consumer’s increasing tendency to shop online has been one of Clark’s main challenges over the years as a traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

“To ignite our emotional connection with consumers, we have organised Clarks’ brand portfolio across three distinct business units that each represent a unique segment of the shoe market - Clarks Originals, Clarks, Collection and Cloudsteppers by Clarks,” said Presca. “This is helping us move fast to get ahead of the changes in the ways that our consumers live their lives, so that we are there for them every step of the way.”

He added: “We are a business that walks its own path, and we are evolving to put our brand and consumers at the heart of everything we do. This will ensure that our organisation is made to last, empowering our people to contribute to a great future for the company.”

Photo credit: Clarks Shoes, Facebook

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”22-05-2020”

At the shareholders’ meeting of Brunello Cucinelli S.p.A, the board appointed Luca Lisandroni and Riccardo Stefanelli as new CEOs, imbuing Lisandroni with powers regarding the area of markets and putting Stefanelli in charge of the area of product and operations. Brunello Cucinelli, in his role as the Executive Chairman and Creative Director of the company will be responsible for style, creativity and communication.

“I envisage that these two young men in their forties, individuals of huge professional value and in love with the great universal concepts of truth, beauty and humanity, will be able to lead the enterprise for a long time as examples of guardianship for future generations,” said Brunello Cucinelli in a statement.

The company also confirmed the appointment of Moreno Ciarapica as Chief Financial Officer and agreed to carry forward the profit for the year, equal to 57.2 million euros through allocation to the profit reserve.

Brunello Cucinelli closed the year to December 31, 2019 with net revenues of 607.8 million euros, an increase of 9.9 percent compared to 553 million euros in 2018, and a normalized net profit of 49.3 million euros, which constitutes an increase of 7.1 percent compared to 46 million euros in 2018.

Picture:Brunello Cucinelli website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”22-05-2020”

In a preliminary results statement for the year to March 28, 2020, Burberry Group plc reported revenues of 2,633 million pounds (3,214.7 million dollars), down 3 percent, while fourth quarter comparable store sales declined by 27 percent with around 60 percent retail stores closed at end of March.

“Prior to Covid-19, we were delivering strong momentum across our brand and product, with sales ahead of our expectations. Since then, the global health emergency has had a profound impact on the world, our industry and Burberry. We have taken swift action to mitigate the financial impact on our business, while prioritising the safety and wellbeing of our teams and customers. We have a strong balance sheet and liquidity, with space for investment when markets recover,” said Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer of Burberry in a statement.

The company said that the company’s operating profit fell to 188.7 million pounds from 437.2 million pounds, while its net profit decreased to 121.7 million pounds, down from 339.1 million pounds. The company’s board has declared a dividend of 11.3 pence a share, down from 42.5 pence a share at the end of the previous year to protect its future cash position.

Picture:Burberry website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”22-05-2020”

Ross Stores, Inc. said, both, first quarter sales and earnings reflect the closure of all Ross Dress for Less and Dd’s Discounts locations starting on March 20th through the quarter end due to the ongoing spread of Covid-19 throughout the United States. For the 13 weeks ended May 2, 2020, the company reported a loss per share of 87 cents, versus earnings per share of 1.15 dollars for the prior year period, while the net loss was 306 million dollars compared to net income of 421 million dollars last year. Total first quarter sales were 1.8 billion dollars, down from 3.8 billion dollars in the prior year.

Commenting on the first quarter trading, Barbara Rentler, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement: “Our first quarter results reflect the unprecedented impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on our business, which led to the closure of all stores and our first quarterly operating loss in more than 30 years. Operating margin for the period was negatively affected by the significant revenue decline from stores being closed for approximately half of the quarter and the aforementioned one-time, non-cash inventory valuation charge.”

The company said, on May 14, it began a phased process of reopening stores on a market by market basis and approximately 700 stores have reopened since, with the remaining stores expected to be reopened over the coming weeks.

“We have a very strong financial foundation with over 3 billion dollars in liquidity, which in addition to our cash balances includes a new 500 million dollars revolving credit facility. All of this makes us confident in our ability to successfully navigate through these challenging times,” added Rentler.

Picture:Facebook/Ross Stores

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”22-05-2020”

For the fourth quarter, Deckers Brands’ net sales decreased 4.9 percent to 374.9 million dollars and n a constant currency basis, net sales decreased 4.5percent. The company said in a statement that full year net sales increased 5.6 percent to 2.133 billion dollars and on a constant currency basis, net sales increased 6.5 percent. Fourth quarter diluted earnings per share were 57 cents compared to GAAP diluted earnings per share of 82 cents and Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of 85 cents for the same period last year. For the full year, diluted earnings per share were 9.62 dollars compared to GAAP and Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of 8.84 dollars for the same period last year.

“Fiscal year 2020 performance was driven by the strength of our brand portfolio, fuelled by targeted investments in our key initiatives, coupled with disciplined financial management,” said Dave Powers, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, adding, “We expect fiscal year 2021 results to be impacted depending on the duration and severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, but our in-demand brands, omni-channel capabilities, and healthy balance sheet position us well to weather this challenging environment.”

Financial review of Deckers Brands’ Q4 and full year results

Gross margin for the quarter was 51.5 percent compared to 51.6 percent for the same period last year. Operating income was 16.7 million dollars compared to GAAP operating income of 31.6 million dollars for the same period last year and Non-GAAP operating income of 32.9 million dollars.

Gross margin for the full year was 51.8 percent compared to 51.5 percent for the same period last year. Operating income was 338.1 million dollars compared to GAAP operating income of 327.3 million dollars and Non-GAAP operating income of 327 million dollars for the same period last year.

The company added that UGG brand net sales for the fourth quarter decreased 17.9 percent to 196.3 million dollars and for fiscal year 2020, net sales decreased 0.8 percent to 1.521 billion dollars. Hoka One One brand net sales for the fourth quarter increased 51.8 percent to 101.9 million dollars, while net sales increased 58 percent to 352.6 million dollars for the full year. Teva brand net sales for the quarter increased 12.5 percent to 59.6 million dollars, while full year net sales increased 0.4 percent to 138 million dollars. Finally, fourth quarter Sanuk brand net sales decreased 57.8 percent to 13.3 million dollars and full year net sales decreased 38.1 percent to 51.2 million dollars.

Deckers Brands’ performance across retail channels and markets

The company further said that wholesale net sales for the fourth quarter decreased 2.9 percent to 230.7 million dollars but increased 6.9 percent to 1.396 billion dollars for the full year. DTC net sales for the quarter decreased 7.9 percent to 144.2 million dollars, while DTC comparable sales decreased 3.7 percent. For fiscal year 2020, DTC net sales increased 3.1 percent to 736.9 million dollars and DTC comparable sales increased 5 percent over the same period last year.

The company’s domestic net sales for the fourth quarter decreased 8.4 percent to 230.8 million dollars, while for full fiscal year domestic net sales increased 9.6 percent to 1.402 billion dollars. International net sales for the quarter increased 1.4 percent to 144.1 million dollars, while full year international net sales decreased 1.5 percent to 731 million dollars.

Picture:Teva website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”22-05-2020”