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."
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)