Sando, Maje, Claudie Pierlot defy the market with a strong H1
SMCP Group, which owns the Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot brands, has posted a strong set of first half numbers with sales up 19.2% driven by strong performance from all brands in all markets, it said.
Total sales in the first six months of 2016 hit €377.2m, while like-for-like sales (which strips out sales from new stores opened during the period under review) were up 9.3%, which compared to a strong first half of 2015 which saw like-for-like sales growth of 8.5%.
President and CEO of the SMCP Group Daniel Lalonde said the numbers were a testament to the desirability of the brands, which each operate in the "accessible luxury" space with Sandro offering both men's and womenswear and Maje and Claudie Pierlot operating in womenswear only.
"Our continued ability to grow is clearly driven by the global desirability of our brands and collections, the talent and creativity of our teams and the relevance of our business model. We have made remarkable progress on all of our strategic levers and intend to pursue our successful strategy with the aim of becoming the global leader in accessible luxury," Lalonde said.
The group registered a strong performance in its home market of France where sales were up 12%, a significant success given that France has proved to be a challenging market for many brands of late (particularly those in the true luxury space) given the fall in tourism and lack of consumer confidence as a result of terrorist activity.
Sales generated outside of France now account for 51% of group sales and grew by 27% with a particularly strong performance from Europe and the Middle East (up 26%) and Asia and Greater China (up 51%). The Americas were up 9%.
While all three brands did well, Claudie Pierlot was singled out as the star performer with sales up 31% while Sandro and Maje were both up just over 15%. Jackets, dresses and skirts were strong categories in ready-to-wear but the group intends to expand its accessories offer, having enjoyed success with products such as the Maje M bag, while menswear (via Sandro) was said to have strong global potential.
Throughout the period under review the group opened 58 new points of sale globally taking group total to 1,176 across 35 countries. Some 14 stores were opened in Greater China, including Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen, in addition to two flagships stores in Fashion Walk Hong Kong (Sandro and Maje). Sandro and Maje also opened digital stores in China, in partnership with T-Mall (Alibaba Group). Online sales in total for the group were up 104%.
Sandro and Maje were founded by Evelyne Chetrite and Judith Milgrom in Paris, in 1984 and 1998 respectively (they both continue to provide creative direction for the brands). Claudie Pierlot was also founded in 1984 and acquired by the group in 2009. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) acquired a majority stake of Group SMCP in June 2013.