21 Feb 2022 | 4 mins

Gucci Drives 35.2% Revenue Growth At Kering

Gucci Drives 35.2% Revenue Growth At Kering

The House of Gucci had a strong finish to 2021, propelling Kering’s earnings to €17.7 billion ($20.1 billion), up 35.2% from the previous year.

The largest fashion brand in the Kering luxury empire—which includes Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta—Gucci delivered revenues of €9.7 billion ($11.02 billion), up 31.2% from 2020, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. The debut of Gucci’s Aria collection in September followed by the buzzy release of the House of Gucci film in November helped fuel performance in the fourth quarter, which saw a 32% rise year over year. Pop-up collaborations with brands like The North Face also helped out. But post-pandemic consumer appetite was likely the largest factor.

“At the end of the day, people were feeling frugal fatigue and not being able to shop during the worst of the pandemic,” says Hitha Herzog, chief research officer at H Squared, “not just for luxury but for retail across the board.”

In its 2021 earnings report, Kering noted that the first six months of the pandemic profoundly disrupted global sales as well as store traffic driven by tourism, pushing business down by nearly 18% in 2020. But by last year, its brands began to experience a turnaround, as consumers were eager to buy luxury goods again.


Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault expects to extend last year’s momentum into 2022

Gucci wasn’t the only solid perfomer in Kering’s portfolio. “All our Houses achieved a sharp sales rebound,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, “way beyond their 2019 levels, while reinforcing the exclusivity of their distribution and further enhancing their brand equity.”

Yves Saint Laurent’s revenues reached €2.5 billion ($2.8 billion) last year, a 45% jump from 2020. Like Gucci, its fourth quarter was the strongest, surging more than 60%. Bottega Veneta—Kering’s only fashion division that experienced growth during the height of the pandemic in 2020—continued its upward momentum. The Italian fashion company was up 24% in 2021.

The French conglomerate’s “Other Houses” also delivered for Kering. Sales for Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and French jewelry maison Boucheron surged across the board.


All About Aria: Kering managing director Jean-François Palus noted the success of Gucci’s 2021 Aria launch. The collection was in collaboration with Balenciaga, also a division of Kering.

When it came to addressing inflation concerns—earlier this week Louis Vuitton announced it was raising prices globally to offset costs—Pinault said in an interview with CNBC that price hikes will be assessed on a case-by-case basis ahead of each collection launch. But he added that the average price of Kering’s goods will likely increase due to rising costs, import duties and the currency exchange market.

Kering CFO Jean-Marc Duplaix said, “Whatever the increase of the inflation of some raw materials, I think that our brands are able to reflect this price increase,” given that its brands only saw low to mid-single-digit price increases in 2020 and 2021. He added that Gucci clearly has some “pricing power.”

“Everyone keeps talking about these luxury price hikes as if they are a dire thing, but at the end of the day, who cares?” says Herzog. “No one is buying Balenciaga to get a discount—these shoppers are largely price immune.”

Sarah Davis, founder of luxury resale site Fashionphile, points out this trend is also nothing new. “Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel have been raising prices on the same styles since the 1980s,” she says. Historically prices for luxury handbags and accessories have gone up 2% to 4% and 7% to 10%, respectively, each year. But she notes that the percentage increases and frequency of the price hikes rose in 2021.

News of Kering’s earnings sent the company’s stock price up as much as 7.9% on Thursday.


Gucci's Milan store reopening in May 18, 2020.