GUCCI CITES LEATHER GOODS, SHOES FOR 69.1% SALES JUMP

MILAN — Gucci’s sales continue to sizzle, posting a 69.1 percent gain in the third quarter ended Oct. 31.
The luxury goods firm reported Thursday that sales in the three months reached $230.2 million, backed by the strong performance of leather goods and footwear.
For the first nine months of the fiscal year, sales jumped 81.2 percent to $620.2 million. All sales figures include royalties.
In the third quarter, sales of leather goods rose 94.7 percent year-on-year to $129.3 million and footwear sales jumped 69 percent to $42.1 million. Clothing sales rose 17 percent to $22.9 million.
“Strong sales are piling up, month by month,” said Domenico De Sole, president and chief executive of Gucci Group NV, the Netherlands-based holding company for the Gucci operations. “These third [quarter] results have passed our expectations. They are bigger than our entire turnover for 1993.”
The firm did not release profits for the period. It customarily reports profits for the first half and full year.
Paul Gordon, an analyst with IMI Sigeco, an investment house here, noted the third-quarter sales surpassed his projection of 64 percent growth.
Gordon said he expects sales to grow another 65 percent in the fourth quarter, and 76 percent for the 1996 fiscal year. Sales for 1996 should be about $880 million, he said.
“A good sign is that the core of the company — leather goods — is growing consistently. This makes for strong sales overall,” he said.
Despite the sales gain, Gucci’s shares Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange dropped 3 3/4 to close at 73 3/4 in a down market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 11.5 points.
De Sole, in a telephone interview, noted Gucci is opening a directly owned store in Berlin by the end of next week. The firm also is negotiating to take over the Gucci franchise store in Brussels. Next spring, Gucci will open freestanding directly owned stores in Frankfurt, Osaka, Hong Kong at Causeway Bay and Beijing at the Palace Hotel.
Currently, there are 65 directly owned Gucci boutiques, 79 franchised boutiques, 74 duty-free boutiques and 60 other sales points, including department and specialty stores with Gucci corners and shops-in-shops.

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