PARIS — Dramatic swings in international currency markets dampened the first-quarter sales performance at French distribution conglomerate Pinault-Printemps-Redoute.
The firm on Thursday reported first-quarter revenue declined 6 percent to $6.87 billion, compared with $7.3 billion in the year-earlier period. On a comparable basis, however, excluding the effects of currency fluctuation, sales increased 2.8 percent. Dollar figures are converted from the euro at current exchange.
The results slightly bettered analysts’ projections. PPR shares closed up 5.1 percent at $63.49 in trading on the Paris Bourse Thursday.
In a conference call, PPR chief executive Serge Weinberg trumpeted the comparable revenue advance.
"The performance in the first quarter was extremely strong, excluding the strong negative impact of currency exchange rates," he said. "Retail and luxury are performing."
Weinberg said retail sales at the group, controlled by French billionaire François Pinault, gained 6.1 percent on a comparable basis, led by a 7.5 percent rise at the Fnac book and music chain and a 5.9 percent advance at the Conforama furniture retailer.
Sales at the Printemps department stores gained 1.9 percent, hurt by weak international travel flows linked to the situation in Iraq. Printemps’ Paris flagship on the Boulevard Haussmann, heavily reliant on tourist sales, finished the quarter with a 4.5 percent decline in revenues.
The sports division, comprising the Citadium megastore in Paris and 18 Made in Sport stores throughout France, grew 9.4 percent in the quarter.
Sales at the Orcanta lingerie chain grew 12.6 percent.
Luxury sales through Gucci Group, in which PPR has a 61 percent stake, gained 0.3 percent, or 6 percent on a comparable basis, to $778.6 million.First-quarter sales at Gucci correspond to the period from November 2002 through January 2003 and were reported previously.
Weinberg said the solid performances of the retail and luxury divisions justified PPR’s new strategy to shed its business-to-business activities, including office, electrical and construction supplies divisions, in favor of higher-margin retail and luxury businesses.
B2B sales declined 2.8 percent on a comparable basis to $2.55 billion, a performance Weinberg characterized as "weak."
As reported, PPR said last week it would sell its Guilbert office supplies division to America’s Office Depot for $863.9 million in cash. Meanwhile, the company is said to be in talks to unload the Pinault Bois Materiaux company, a wood and construction supplies concern."We are moving ahead in our strategy to concentrate on a single customer," said Weinberg. "We are executing probably more rapidly and in better market conditions than most people probably expected."
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews