Gucci earned a reputation as one of the world's most fought-over fashion brands before finally achieving stability within the portfolio of what is now French group Kering. It is the world's third largest luxury group after LVMH and Richemont. During the 1980s, it was the centrepiece in an astonishing family saga of money and power, intrigue and even murder. After 1993, there were no Guccis at Gucci. Instead the partnership between designer Tom Ford and businessman Domenico de Sole restored glamour and prestige to the business after years of neglect. However, the mercurial success of the business led to a bitter hostile takeover bid by luxury goods giant LVMH. Gucci survived, only to end up as the subsidiary of LVMH's arch-rival PPR. Ford and de Sole left in 2004, prompting forecasts of impending disaster. Yet the soothsayers were proved wrong, and the post-Ford Gucci actually delivered far greater success than ever before. The group also added a succession of other brands to its portfolio including Yves St Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Balenciaga, Brioni and Alexander McQueen, among others. It adopted the new name Kering in 2013 and has gradually divested all its other subsidiaries to focus exclusively on luxury. Its last remaining non-luxury division, sportswear group Puma, was spun off to shareholders in 2018, though Kering retains a small stake. Several other smaller fashion labels were also divested. In the past few years, Kering has reaped the rewards of surging performance within the luxury market as a whole. Comparable group revenues have virtually doubled since 2015, reaching €15.9bn in 2019, with net income of €2.3bn. The Gucci brand alone has grown by more than a third each year for the past three years to €9.6bn. St Laurent generated over €2.0bn in 2019 and Bottega Veneta almost €1.2bn. All other brands combined generated €2.5bn. Francois-Henri Pinault is executive chairman & CEO of Kering. His father Francois Pinault is one of France's most successful entrepreneurs and investors, and its second richest man (after LVMH's Bernard Arnault), having assembled the original PPR group over the course of the 1980s and 1990s. Family investment group Artemis is Kering's biggest shareholder and also owns the auction house Christie's, Chateau Latour and other vineyards, top French football team Stade Rennais and weekly news magazine Le Point. It inherited a 29% stake in Puma in the 2018 spin-off.
Capsule checked 15th December 2020
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Historical profile information for Kering / PPR
Historical profile information for Gucci
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Nov 2018: Strong quarterly results from luxury group Kering reassured investors who had been spooked by weaker figures from LVMH a few weeks ago. The extraordinary growth of Kering's Gucci division continued apace, with comparable sales up over 35% against the year-ago quarter. Yves St Laurent, too, was up strongly at 16%, with similarly impressive performance from most of the group's other brands. Total revenues were up almost 28% to €3.4bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Aug 2018: There were excellent half-year results from the luxury sector. The brightest star was Kering, the French luxury group best-known for Gucci and Yves St Laurent. Echoing a phenomenal performance in 2017, it reported a leap of just under 34% in sales for the first half of the current year to €6.4bn. That included a jump of 45% in comparable sales from North America and almost 38% in Asia Pacific excluding Japan. Gucci alone reported global organic growth of 40%, and the brand is expected to hit full-year sales of €8bn. Net income for the half almost tripled to €2.4bn, though half of that sum came from the sale of shares in Puma. This marked the group's sixth consecutive quarter of revenue growth above 35%. LVMH also performed well, though not quite as spectacularly as Kering. Organic growth for the half was 13% to €10.85bn, including a 16% increase at the core fashion & leather goods business. Watches & Jewellery and Perfume & Cosmetics did even better with a lift of 20% and 17% respectively. The best results, though, came from the bottom line: profit for the first half soared by 41% to €3bn. Prada too, which has been struggling to regain its balance in the past couple of years, delivered its best results for several quarters. Reported sales were up 3% for the half (or 9% at constant exchange rates) while net profits rose almost 11%.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Feb 2018: Luxury is clearly back on a hot streak again. In the wake of strong figures from L'Oreal Luxe and LVMH, Gucci parent Kering reported what CEO Francois-Henri Pinault rightly described as "phenomenal" figures for full year 2017. Group revenues jumped by 25% to almost €15.5bn, while net income more than doubled to €1.8bn. All the growth came from the brands themselves, with the Gucci brand alone registering an extraordinary 42% jump in revenues to over €6.2bn, even with a slight negative drag from currencies, while YSL managed 23%. It wasn't just luxury. Even Puma sportswear delivered a 15% lift, topping €4bn for the first time at almost €4.2bn ahead of its planned spin-off.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Jan 2018: Gucci and YSL owner Kering is to quit the sportswear business with a plan to spin off most of its stake in Puma to shareholders. It will retain around 16% of Puma's equity but distribute the rest of what is currently an 84% holding among Kering shareholders. A small proportion of Puma shares are already publicly quoted. The Pinault family's private investment group Artemis will become the biggest shareholder with around 29%. Instead Kering will focus its attentions purely on luxury brands. It also plans to sell its boardsports apparel and accessories brand Volcom.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Aug 2017: Results from luxury to sportswear group Kering appeared to reinforce the renewed dynamism at the high-end of the fashion market. Hot on the heels of strong performance from sector leader LVMH, Kering reported a 78% surge in net profits for the first half to €826m on revenues up over 25% to €3.7bn. Currency played only a minimal role, and almost all the growth was organic, fed primarily by a huge surge at core brand Gucci, where sales jumped by over 40% in the half, and operating profit by 69%. YSL's sales were up almost 29%. "The first half of the year has definitely been one for the record books," said group managing director Jean-Francois Palus. He described the dramatic leap in performance as "unparalleled in the world of luxury". Kering's sport and lifestyle division, which revolves around Puma, also did well with half year revenues topping €2bn for the first time.
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