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Salvatore Ferragamo publishes its 2016 sustainability report

Salvatore Ferragamo has published its 2016 sustainability report with deep commitment to social responsibility.

“The creation of sustainable value for the future of the planet and people is a vital and positive challenge for every business,” said Ferruccio Ferragamo, President of the Salvatore Ferragamo Group, in the company’s statement announcing the publication of report, adding, “We have always been committed to upholding the principles of social and environmental sustainability.”

Salvatore Ferragamo reveals its 2016 sustainability report

The company said that it has focused its commitment to sustainability on certain macro areas: ‘People; Made in Italy, Products and Relationships with Workers; the Local Area and Culture; and the Environment’, which are explored in depth in the Group’s Sustainability Report. Initiatives range from those aimed at the development and professional growth of the group’s people and the improvement of their wellbeing to its commitment to promoting the local area and preserving artistic heritage, such as the restoration of the famous Fountain of Neptune in Piazza della Signoria, Florence.

The Group also actively participates in a number of social projects, highlighting its commitment to local communities and conducts its business without losing sight of its Made in Italy values.

“Transparency in terms of our economic, social and environmental objectives and activities is an essential to our Group, which, since its foundation, has shared a close attachment to the local area, promoting traditional handcraftsmanship and celebrating the local culture and communities, making these core values the hallmarks of its business. And all this while devoting special attention to environmental protection, cultural heritage and the spirit of innovation,” added Ferragamo.

Ferragamo Group’s commitment to sustainability

The company added that through research into innovative and environmentally-friendly materials, the group has continued the tradition of experimenting with sustainable and alternative materials. Its partnership with Orange Fiber, an all-Italian start-up that makes innovative, vitamin-packed yarns from the by-products of citrus fruit juice, is the company said, an example of how the group combines sustainability with Made In Italy creativity.

“We earned major environmental recognition in 2016, including a LEED Platinum rating for our new building in Osmannoro, outside Florence, and ISO 14064 certification for Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, making it the first green corporate museum in Italy,” Ferragamo said further adding, “To extend our commitment in 2017, we will continue to pursue many new projects for the responsible use of resources and continuous improvement in ecological efficiency”.

The Sustainability Balance 2016 of the Salvatore Ferragamo Group has received the Business International Finance Award 2017 in the category 'Balance, Integrated Reporting, Financial Reporting'.

Photo :Salvatore Feragamo CSR website

Belgian prosecutors said on June, 22 they have closed an investigation into a 2.9 billion euro capital increase in a Belgian company owned by billionaire and chief executive of LVMH (LVMH.PA) Bernard Arnault.

According to the court report, prosecutors in charge of the case concluded that Arnault has accepted a deal to end the case opened in 2012 against Pilinvest, a holding company in Belgium, "without any prejudicial admission of guilt on his part."

The LVMH’s executive requested Belgian nationality in 2012 at a time his native France studied the introduction of a 75 percent ‘supertax’ for the country’s fortunes.

Although Arnault later withdrew the request and said his frustrated efforts to acquire Belgian nationality were motivated not by tax concerns but a desire to tie up legal ownership issues to avoid any future discrepancies among his heirs, prosecutors started this investigation into Arnault’s Belgian companies and assets.

JD.com - Farfetch, the odd couple at the conquer of Chinese online luxury market

ANALYSISThe Chinese e-commerce giant will invest 397 million dollars in London-based Farfetch to take the British marketplace to China. The deal will see Farfetch tapping on JD.com logistics and technology resources in China, while Alibaba’s competitor gains a leg into the luxury segment.

Additionally, Richard Liu, founder and CEO at JD.com, will join Farfetch’s board as part of the deal, which makes JD.com one of its largest shareholders.

The move responds to JD.com’s aspirations of reigning over the coveted Chinese luxury market, highlight market experts consulted by FashionUnited. Meanwhile, Farfetch which last year raised 110 million dollars with a view to fund its expansion in Asia, gains a perfect, local, ally to see that goal materialise.

In a note to market luxury goods analyst at Exane BNP Paribas Luca Solca says the deal was “another great step forward for Farfetch. Securing Massenet was a plus — but getting JD for China and Condé Nast for editorial content are two major coups.”

China already is Farfetch’s second largest market

According to data gathered by ‘TechCrunch’, China, where Farfetch launched in 2014, had already become its second-largest market by May 2016. It’s worth recalling that Farfetch currently partners with 200 brands and 500 multi-brand retailers.

According to José Neves, Farfetch founder, they are not a retailer, but they “integrate with their systems and deal with all the headache — logistics, currency exchanges, everything that ecommerce entails, we connect to their inventory in real time.” This approach is clearly paying off as Farfetch increased sales by more than 60 percent last year

The alliance will also help Farfetch benefit from JD.com’s logistics network, premium courier services, online payment and consumer microcredit tools, and social media resources among other strategic assets.

“This partnership addresses the market’s challenges by combining the Farfetch brand and curation with the scale and influence of the foremost Chinese ecommerce giant. This strategic partnership will provide brands a seamless, immediate access to the luxury consumer and Chinese luxury shoppers with access to the greatest selection of luxury in the omni-channel way of life they have already fully embraced,” said Neves in a press release.

Commenting on the partnership, Richard Liu, chairman and chief executive of JD.com, said: “As part of our major luxury push, we could not have found a stronger online partner than Farfetch. We have always believed that the long-term trend of Chinese ecommerce is towards quality over price and this partnership with Farfetch further extends our lead in the battle for the future of China’s upwardly mobile consumers. We look forward to deepening our relationships with Farfetch and luxury brands in the months and years ahead.”

Photo Credits:FarFetch China Web

Ivanka Trump will be speaking in front of a judge in October this year as she has been forced to give a deposition in a lawsuit by the Italian shoemaker, which claims the U.S. President’s daughter’s namesake label copied its designs.

Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that Ivanka Trump will be giving a deposition in relation to the suit Aquazurra filed against her and her company in June 2016, when the Italian label said Trump's "Hettie" shoe design “is too close to that design to be a coincidence.”

Back in the day, Trump’s lawyers have claimed in court documents that Aquazurra designs are not distinctive enough to prove that their client copied the Italian shoe company's style. Furthermore, they assured this lawsuit is nothing but a ‘publicity stunt’ and arguing that the Aquazurra design lacks the "distinctiveness" it would need to be protected by intellectual property laws.

The lawyers also said that Trump should be exempt because of her "special circumstances." Forcing Ivanka Trump to be deposed "would be an unnecessary distraction and would interfere with her ability to perform her duties at the White House." It’s worth recalling that Ivanka Trump stepped down from her role at her namesake company shortly before her father was inaugurated in January, serving ever since in an unpaid White House role as an adviser to President Trump.

However, the judge overseeing the case, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, denied that request in a ruling Friday. Forrest wrote that Ivanka Trump's deposition is necessary because she was a company executive during the time the shoes were made and had "high-level, authoritative, personal involvement" in the company.

According to CNNMoney, the judge also wrote that "Ms. Trump's public statements regarding active and comprehensive brand management lead to a reasonable inference that the shoe at issue would not have been released without her approval."

Forrest ruled that Trump's deposition must be kept to under two hours and done in Washington, D.C., where she currently resides. It must be completed by October, the judge said.

Coach gives Kate Spade more time with tender offer's extension

In May, Coach Inc (NYSE: COH) made a 2.4 billion dollars offer to acquire rival Kate Spade (NYSE: KATE) and now is granting the soon-to-be-acquired company an extension. Originally, Kate Spade´s stakeholders had until June,23 to decide on taking or leaving the deal.

Last month, Coach filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saying that its 18.50 dollars per share offer will expire on June 23, unless extended. Now, house before that time expired, the buying party is extending its offer, which implies a premium to Kate Spade´s stock's current market price.

Coach extends tender offer for Kate Spade until July,10

Coach’s owned subsidiary, Chelsea Merger Sub Inc., has extended the expiration of its previously announced tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock, par value 1 dollar per share, of Kate Spade & Company, at a price of 18.50 dollars per share, net to the seller in cash, without interest thereon and less any applicable withholding taxes until 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on July 10, 2017, unless further extended or earlier terminated.

As explained by Coach, “The offer has been extended to allow additional time for the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Japanese Act on Prohibition of Private Monopolization and Maintenance of Fair Trade (Act No. 54 of April 14, 1947, as amended), which is expected to expire on July 2, 2017. All other terms and conditions of the offer remain unchanged.”

“The depositary for the Offer has advised Coach and Purchaser that, as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on June 22, 2017, 19,310,859 Shares have been validly tendered pursuant to the Offer and not properly withdrawn,” revealed Coach in a corporate release on Friday.

Coach's offer includes all the outstanding shares of Kate Spade's common stock, with a par value of 1 dollar per share. According to analyst´s calculations reported by Bezinga, the acquisition of Kate Spade could be at least 32 cents per share accretive to Coach's fiscal 2020 earnings based on a conservative assumption of 50 million dollars in cost synergies.

In fact, this analyst's 55 dollars price target on Coach's stock is based on an 18x multiple on his fiscal 2019 earnings per share estimate of 2.77 dollars plus 32 cents per share in accretion. Meanwhile and since Perhaps more important, since the acquisition was announced, the Street didn't move their consensus estimates on Coach higher at all which implies the merger will generate further upside versus current expectations.

Image:Mini Isobel, Summer 2017, Kate Spade Official Site

YSL wants to double sales

Since hiring Anthony Vaccarello as their creative director, YSL has been rampant about trying to grow their business. While the brand saw impressive growth under previous creative director Hedi Slimane, The company plans on opening 20 stores a year and increase in-house production as they aim to double sales in the next three years.

YSL's target revenue is 2.2 billion dollars for the next three to five years.

Growth has continued to increase under Vaccarello, who has also brought a slate of new celebrity followers, including Nicki Minaj, Robin Wright and Dakota Johnson.

The brand has also become very popular among millennials, with that demographic now making up 70 percent of their customer base.

YSL aims for 2.2 billion in revenue

That is quite a feat for a luxury brand, as millennials are some of the trickiest consumers.

As millennials are slowly entering their years for increased salaries and more stable jobs, they have more disposable income to spend. Saint Laurent, under Slimane and now Vaccarello, has managed to create an aesthetic that appeals to the millennial consumer.

To reach more of their consumers, the company will be focused on store openings in strong growth areas like Shanghai and Beijing. At the end of 2016, YSL had 159 stores worldwide.

As part of their new business plan, YSL will be increasing production at their Tuscan factory.

Kering, which saw 12.4 billion euros in revenue last year, intends to keep growing their billion dollar business, with Saint Laurent as part of the bread and butter of that plan. The luxury conglomerate also owns reputable brands, including Gucci and Alexander McQueen.

photo: via Saint Laurent Facebook page
Lululemon partners with 7mesh to develop performance apparel

Lululemon Athletica and 7mesh Industries have announced a strategic partnership to co-create and push the boundaries in advanced technical apparel.

“We’re always open to unlock opportunities to fuel our innovation pipeline,” said Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin in a statement, adding, “In bringing together 7mesh’s extensive technical apparel expertise and performance-focused mindset with the capabilities of our industry disrupting R&D Whitespace team, we perfectly blend fashion and function to co-create transformational products for our guests.”

Lululemon said, building on the success of its engineered sensation, Whitespace R&D is an investment priority and catalyst for innovation through its creation of new fabrics and construction technologies, product testing and future concept development.

“Working in close partnership with lululemon’s Whitespace team is an incredible opportunity for us. We’re excited to push the state of the art together in co-creating the most advanced technical performance apparel available,” added 7mesh CEO Tyler Jordan.

Located in Squamish, British Columbia, 7mesh is in close proximity to Lululemon’s Vancouver headquarters. Alongside the strategic partnership, Lululemon has also made a minority investment in 7mesh.

Picture:7mesh website

H&M May sales up 4 percent, posts 5 percent rise in Q2

The H&M group’s sales including VAT increased by 4 percent in local currencies in May 2017 compared to the same month the previous year. Converted into SEK, the company’s sales increased by 8 percent. H&M said that in the first half of the month sales were affected by tough market conditions in several countries and sales improved considerably in the second half of the month.

In the second quarter period, from March 1 to May 31, 2017, sales including VAT increased by 5 percent in local currencies compared to the corresponding quarter the previous year. Converted into SEK sales including VAT increased by 10 percent and amounted to 59,538 million Swedish krona (6,485 million dollars) compared to 54,341 million Swedish krona (6,247 million dollars) for the same quarter last year. Sales excluding VAT amounted to 51,383 million Swedish krona (5,907 million dollars) against 46,874 million Swedish krona (5,388 million dollars), representing an increase of 10 percent.

The total number of stores in the group were 4,498 on May 31, 2017 compared to 4,077 stores on May 31, 2016. The company added that the amounts are provisional and may deviate slightly from the six-month report, covering the period December 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017.

Picture:H&M website

Mulberry's annual revenues witness 8 percent revenue growth

Mulberry said in its preliminary results announcement that total revenue grew by 8 percent to 168.1 million pounds (214 million dollars) for the year ended March 31, 2017. Profit before tax was 7.5 million pounds (9.5 million dollars) against 6.2 million pounds (7.8 million dollars) last year.

Commenting on the company’s annual results, Thierry Andretta, Mulberry CEO said in a statement, "During the year we have made good progress. Our sales and profits are growing, enhancing our strong cash position. We have advanced our international growth strategy with a new partnership in Asia and the continued expansion of our omni-channel offer in key markets."

Key initiatives boost annual revenues at Mulberry

Mulberry said that during the year, a significant number of new products were launched under the creative direction of Johnny Coca. The Zipped Bayswater became an immediate bestseller since its launch during October 2016 and the family will be further extended in coming seasons. The bag was highlighted during the marketing campaign, "Modern Heritage", which ran during April and May 2017.

Global digital sales were up 19 percent to 25.5 million pounds (32 million dollars) for the period, accounting for 15 percent of group revenue. Retail sales including digital were up 8 percent to 128.3 million pounds (163 million dollars) for the period with like-for-like sales up 5 percent.

A number of services were added to the Group's omni-channel offer during the period and local mulberry.com sites were introduced in China and Korea. In the USA, a local distribution centre was established in order to facilitate local fulfilment. There were 67 directly operated stores at the end of the period. The year witnessed relocation of the Covent Garden and Bicester stores; and acquisition of the store in Sydney, Australia and through the Mulberry Asia agreement, signed at the end of the financial year, the group acquired one store in Hong Kong post year-end.

Mulberry will acquire two stores in China, and one concession in Taiwan during the financial year ending March 2018. In North America, two stores were closed, New York (Madison Avenue) and Washington, the digital offer was enhanced and sales commenced to the Nordstrom department store chain.

Wholesale revenue, comprising sales to partner stores and selective multi-brand wholesale accounts, increased 7 percent to 39.8 million pounds (50.6 million dollars). The franchise store network at the period end had a total of 52 stores in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The four stores acquired by Mulberry Asia will join the group's own Retail store portfolio during the financial year to March 2018. Selective new wholesale accounts were opened in Europe, North America and Asia.

Profit before tax was 7.5 million pounds (9.5 million dollars) against 6.2 million pounds (7.8 million dollars) last year, after accounting for non-recurring costs relating to activities in North Asia, adverse currency movements and non-cash store impairments. The board of Mulberry has recommended the payment of a dividend of 5.0p per ordinary share.

Like-for-like sales up 1 percent as of June 3, 2017

Like-for-like retail sales including digital were up 1 percent for the 10 weeks to June 3, 2017. In the UK, like-for-like sales were up 2 percent and the company said, sales continue to benefit from an increase in tourist spending in London, although domestic demand has been softer. International like-for-like sales show a weakening in non-strategic locations with management continuing to focus on the optimisation of the store network.

Picture:Facebook/Mulberry

Global Brands Group posts 11.6 percent rise in annual revenue

Announcing its first set of 12-month results since moving the company’s financial year end date to March 31, Global Brands Group said that it achieved a solid performance despite a tough business environment. During the reporting period, the group revenue increased by 11.6 percent to 3,891 million dollars. The company’s total margin improved from 33.9 percent to 36.4 percent as a percentage of revenue.

“I am pleased to report that Global Brands delivered solid results for the year ended 31 March 2017. Despite a tough business environment, we achieved one of the strongest levels of topline growth in the industry, alongside continued improvement in our margins and profitability,” commented Bruce Rockowitz, the company’s Chief Executive Officer & Vice Chairman in a media release.

Operating profit rises 64.5 percent

The company added that compared to the same period last year, both core operating profit and net profit attributable to shareholders posted a strong increase of 64.5 percent and 89.4 percent and reached 173 million dollars and 90 million dollars, respectively, while adjusted net profit attributable to shareholders also increased by 49.4 percent to 72 million dollars. The company’s EBITDA increased by 26.3 percent to 380 million dollars.

Global Brands discloses its results in accordance with the group’s four business verticals: kids, men’s and women’s fashion, footwear and accessories, and brand management. For the reporting period, the company said, kids business performed strongly because its characters business continued to deliver consistently, while kids fashion business also performed well on the back of strong growth of brands such as Under Armour. Segment revenue grew by 3.9 percent to 1,603 million dollars, while total margin increased by 9.9 percent to 584 million dollars. Core operating profit increased by 62.2 percent to 76 million dollars.

Revenue from men’s and women’s fashion increased by 31.5 percent to 820 million dollars compared to the same period last year, while total margin increased by 47.8 percent to 353 million dollars due to growth of businesses as well as the addition of new licenses. For the reporting period, core operating profit increased by 78.6 percent to 73 million dollars.

Revenue from footwear and accessories segment increased by 5.6 percent to 1,281 million dollars, while total margin increased by 13.6 percent to 428 million dollars due to new businesses and improved business mix in favour of higher-margin businesses. Footwear and accessories recorded a core operating profit of 8 million dollars for the period under review.

Brand management business saw considerable growth, largely driven by the formation of CAA-GBG, with revenue reaching 188 million dollars and total margin of 50 million dollars. Core operating profit for the reporting period was 17 million dollars.

The geographic split of the group’s revenue was 80 percent North America, 15 percent Europe/Middle East and 5 percent Asia.

Over the course of the past three financial years, our first Three-Year Plan as an independent company, we have made significant strides in establishing a solid foundation for our business and were able to deliver compound annual growth of 5.8 percent in revenue, and 9 percent in core operating profit, and 8.7 percent in EBITDA, while total margin percentage increased by over 500 basis points. As we enter into our new Three-Year Plan (fiscal year 2018 to 2020), we will continue to focus on growth with the goal of reaching 5 billion dollars in revenue by the end of fiscal year 2020, improving our total margin percentage by 150 basis points, and increasing EBITDA by 50 percent,” added Rockowitz.

Picture:Kenneth Cole website