MILAN — In what’s shaping up to be a challenging 2003 for Gucci Group, the company postponed its profitability target for Yves Saint Laurent by one year amid swirling reports that chief executive Domenico De Sole and designer Tom Ford could step down in the near future.

Gucci said current market conditions mean YSL is on track to turn profitable in late 2004 and in full-year 2005, one year later than most recently forecast, a spokesman said, reiterating comments De Sole made Tuesday to analysts at a closed-door meeting in London. This comes on the heels of a group profit warning last December.

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