PARIS — Analysts at HSBC Global Research are expecting a global slowdown in sales growth for the luxury goods sector this year, although they do not expect revenues for the segment to fall, according to a new report.
This story first appeared in the March 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We forecast the sector’s average organic sales growth rate to slow to 10 percent in 2012 and 9 percent in 2013 from the historically high level of 2011 (circa 20 percent),” stated the “Stop, Look, Listen” report, written by analysts Antoine Belge, Erwan Rambourg and Sophie Dargnies.
This growth remains above the long-term industry average of between 7 and 8 percent, however, the report said.
The analysts are predicting a “normalization” of growth patterns in Asia outside Japan, with sales increases beginning to slow, although this in part will be tempered by the expansion of distribution in China, which is making luxury goods available to increasingly larger geographies. First-time buyers still represent 65 percent of luxury-brand sales in China, the report stated.
In the U.S., the analysts predicted that the market would be less resilient than in 2011, unless economic conditions improve. They expect organic growth in luxury goods sales there to stand at 4 percent this year.
In Europe, meanwhile, “We think the fragile debt situation and weaker GDP performance are likely to take a more severe toll on local consumption,” the analysts wrote. “However, we expect some protection to come from tourism inflows (notably from Asia), which could account for between 35 percent and 60 percent of sales.”
The analysts predicted organic sales growth of 5 percent for the European luxury-goods sector in 2012, which would include a mid single-digit decline for local consumers and a mid-teens increase for tourist sales.
In Japan, organic growth of 2 percent is anticipated.