Not a good moment for luxury

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Wednesday's session came loaded with corporate news. While at the trading floor H&M was one of the main actors, throwing some light at a gloomy prospect with all major luxury fashion stocks still in the spotlight, Vivarte group on France gathered a high deal of attention.

The state of the luxury market continued to be under close scrutiny this week after Mulberry issued its third profit warning this year and British luxury peer Burberry warned the outlook for the sector was getting tougher, prompting both stocks to tumble in London trading on late Tuesday and over half a day on Wednesday.

LVMH's results did not help the sector either; spreading the concerns on how the consume slowdown in Asia – particularly in China – is affecting major luxury houses in the region.

As reported by Bloomberg based on Bain & Co's last update, worldwide luxury-goods sales could increase this year at the slowest pace since 2009 as spending falls for the first time in China and turmoil in Hong Kong and Russia curbs tourist consumption.

LVMH fell 0.2 percent to 124.9 euros at the close of trading in Paris after the company reported third-quarter revenue that came close to analysts’ estimates: sales rose 5.7 percent to 7.4 billion euros.

On a separate note yet still in France, Vivarte, multi-brand French group that, amongst others own brands such as Naf Naf or Kookai, has announced its restructuration plans.

On October, 29, the group's ownership will change hands, as a pivotal part of the group´s turnover plans to face its standing 500 million euros debt. Vivarte said in a note Wednesday that it has reduced its reduced 2.0 billion euros debt to 800 million.

Currently, the company belongs to 11 investment funds, but by the end of the month, this will be reduced to nine investors including investment firms and funds Oaktree, Alcentra, GoldenTree and Babson.

The new owners should, in the process, appoint a new board to help launch a new strategy that reverts current fall of profits and market share.

"Vivarte finally found a financial situation and sanitised enters a new phase of development thanks to this unprecedented restructuring in Europe," said Marc Lelandais in a statement.

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