Go Jimmy Choo! Shoe god has strong year

Jimmy ChooWhat did Jimmy Choo do right last year? Just about everything it seems. The luxury firm said this morning that it had a record year and was on a roll as far as shoes, men’s product, accessories (especially its Lockett bag) and licensed products like perfumes and eyewear went.

OK, it wasn’t a perfect year (when is it ever?) as sales may have gone up 15% to £346m, but that was because of (yes, you guessed it) the weak pound. They were up only 2% at constant exchange rates.

But hey, last year was… well, awful for a lot of luxury firms so 2% is pretty impressive.

And the roll call of figures showed just how impressive: retail revenue up 17% to £244m (4% constant currency); licensing revenue up 25% to £13m (9% constant); comp sales up 2% in Q4 but down 1% for the whole year due to store renovations and “downward adjustments to maintain its global price positioning”; online up (but we don’t know by how much) and now accounting for 6% of revenue.

Wholesale turnover rose 8% to £107m but fell 4% at constant currency as global growth was offset by a planned reduction in US wholesale, presumably as it did what all luxury firms are doing and restricted supply to discount-hungry US department stores.

The company said it saw strong growth in Asia, continued solid growth in Europe and Japan, and “improving trends” in US retail, although this was offset by that “planned reduction” in US wholesale.

And it had a very busy year as it continued to upgrade stores and opened nine new ones. So with 45% of its store estate now redesigned under its new concept, what product is actually selling?

Jimmy ChooShoes were the headline story as they account for 75% of sales. But accessories are big too and the Lockett bag had a good 12 months.

Men’s is the firm’s biggest growth category and it’s planning a big men’s eyewear launch (with Safilo) in 2018 so expect more of the same.

The company said it’s upbeat on its earnings confident for this year, so more good news there. Go Jimmy Choo!

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