Chanel: the Wertheimer brothers get richer and richer

Alain and Gérard Wertheimer may do their best to be discreet, but their wealth doesn't go unnoticed. The two brothers own the Chanel fashion house, founded over a century ago by their grandfather Pierre with Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel. They continue to rake up juicy dividends thanks to the luxury group's results.

Chanel, Autumn/Winter 2015-16 haute couture show - © PixelFormula

According to the figures reported by Bloomberg, Chanel's revenues went from $6.86 billion in 2013 to $7.5 billion last year, while net income rose to $1.4 billion, leaping up by 38% compared to 2013.

Over the same period, the five other luxury groups ranked by Bloomberg among the planet's wealthiest, Prada, Kering, LVMH, L'Oréal and Estée Lauder, saw their net income decline by 6%.

"Chanel is enjoying an extraordinary success in China, and with the Chinese too, hence their recent phenomenal growth," pointed out Luca Solca, analyst in charge of the luxury goods sector at Exane BNP Paribas.


Growth of the Wertheimer brothers’ (Chanel) assets in purple, with that of their luxury competitors in white. - Bloomberg

Alain and Gérard Wertheimer have thus seen their holdings increase by nearly $3 billion, placing them in 6th and 7th place among France's wealthiest according to Bloomberg's 2014 ranking, with estimated assets for $11.8 billion each.

"The Wertheimers' wealth has grown by 13% since January 2014, ranking them among the world's 100 richest people," according to Bloomberg. Ahead of them in France there are L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, LVMH boss Bernard Arnault, Patrick Drahi, Serge Dassault and Kering's founder François Pinault.

Bloomberg also stated that eight other billionaires from the luxury goods industry (Liliane Bettencourt, Bernard Arnault, François Pinault, Leonard Lauder, Giorgio Armani, Cheng Yu-tung, Ralph Lauren and Johann Rupert) saw their combined assets decline by 11% over the same period due to the slowdown in China. 

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