BUSINESS: Financial Kering Reports 'Strong Momentum' in Eyewear in First Fiscal Half By Staff Wednesday, July 28, 2021 12:21 AM PARIS—As it released its financial performance for the first fiscal half of the year, Kering Group (PARIS: KER), the luxury conglomerate, cited the "strong momentum of Kering Eyewear, with sales up 61.8 percent on a comparable basis." The company also noted that Kering Eyewear's contribution to the larger group's first-half consolidated revenue totaled €326.4 million (after elimination of intra-group sales and royalties paid to the Kering Houses). Kering Eyewear, which is part of the Kering Group's "corporate and other" business segment, also reflected "sharply higher operating income and tighter control over corporate costs" in the first half, the company said.In addition, in the Kering Group's general comments about the first six months of this year, the group cited the previously-announced acquisition of Danish luxury eyewear brand Lindberg Eyewear by Kering Eyewear in July. As VMAIL reported, Kering Eyewear and the Lindberg family signed an agreement for Kering Eyewear to acquire 100 percent of the share capital of Lindberg. "This acquisition is an important milestone in the successful expansion of Kering Eyewear and fits perfectly with its development strategy. This acquisition will further reinforce Kering Eyewear as the most relevant player in the luxury eyewear market segment, adding to its portfolio a complementary and proprietary brand with strong legitimacy, undisputed know-how and best-in-class customer service in optical frames," Kering stated. The results for the eyewear group were issued against the backdrop of a strong overall group performance for the Kering Group. Citing strong sales growth from Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and other houses, the luxury conglomerate reported consolidated revenue was €8,047.2 million in the first fiscal half, which rebounded sharply in the first half of 2021, up 54.1 percent from the first half of 2020 and 8.4 percent higher than in the same period of 2019, on a comparable basis. In the second quarter of 2021, comparable revenue growth continued to accelerate, up 95.0 percent year on year and 11.2 percent versus the second quarter of 2019. In its retail (including e-commerce), second-quarter comparable sales surged 97.9 percent, driven by North America (up 263 percent) and Asia-Pacific (up 53 percent). Recurring operating income was 2.3 times higher than in the first half of 2020, nearing the level achieved in the first half of 2019. The recurring operating margin rose by more than 10 points to 27.8 percent, fueled by the performance recovery at all Group Houses, the company said.