Handbag maker Longchamp bucks luxury goods slowdown
today Feb 9, 2016
French handbag maker Longchamp enjoyed improved sales growth last year, bucking a slowdown in the luxury goods industry.
Family-controlled Longchamp, known for its best-selling Pliage bags, said on Tuesday revenue rose last year by 10 percent at constant currencies to 566 million euros (438 million pounds), up from 8 percent growth in 2014.
Longchamp's performance comes as sales growth has slowed in the luxury goods sector, hit by weaker demand in China and low oil prices reducing Russia and Middle Eastern purchasing power.
Rival Kate Spade saw its same-store sales rise strongly last year, while Coach's fortunes have been improving.
Longchamp said its sales growth benefited from new stores in Asia and solid demand in Europe, with the Chinese now its second-biggest customers behind the French.
Longchamp, which opened three stores in mainland China bringing the total number to 25, said sales there had risen 30 percent at constant currencies, a growth level reminiscent of what many luxury brands enjoyed in China five years ago.
Longchamp said sales fell in Paris around 20 percent in November and December after the attacks on the French capital and it expected it would take at least a few months for tourists to return after some cancelled trips.
"In Paris, we are still not back to the levels we saw before the attacks," Longchamp Chief Executive Jean Cassegrain told Reuters in an interview.
Cassegrain said he was not too concerned about the company's sales globally, as although Paris was its number one city in terms of revenue, shoppers would visit its outlets in places like Amsterdam or Tokyo instead.
This year, he said the brand expected the same level of sales growth as in 2015.
$1 = 0.8962 euros
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