Christian Dior: Still growing despite Simons exit

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Dior Couture SS16

Christian Dior Couture took in €1.87bn last year. That was a 17.1% rise, which is pretty impressive in a world where luxury is supposed to be hurting.

OK, exchange rate effects from the weak euro helped a lot. But even without that, revenue was up 7% and operating profits rose an even-better 20.6% to €240m.

Even though the company lost its highly-regarded creative chief (Raf Simons) during the period and hasn’t yet replaced him, the Dior steamroller chugged on, it seems.

In fact, you can see how well it was chugging by looking at the figures for its fiscal first half (it may be confusing but the figures above are for calendar year 2015 but Dior’s financial year actually starts mid-way through the year). So H1, the six months to December 31, was the period when it was partly without Simons, who quit in October.

In H1, revenue hit €961m from €854m and operating profit from ongoing operations rose to €135m.

The company said it saw “dynamism” across its key categories with leathergoods, ready-to-wear, accessories and jewellery all strong during H1 and retail revenues up 15% in total (or 6% currency-neutral).

So the big question is whether the company can continue this dynamism. It highlighted studio directors Serge Ruffieux and Lucie Meier after its couture show and they’ll be in charge for the RTW AW16 collection that debuts on March 4. But the industry is still waiting to see whether a big name will be appointed to drive the house forward or whether the duo will get their chance to shine.

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