Luxury spending drives pick-up at designer brand Michael Kors

City A.M. Reporter
HIGH-END clothing and accessories maker Michael Kors reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit yesterday as indulgent shoppers across North America and Europe continued to spend on luxury.

Sales at the company, formed and owned by fashion designer Michael Kors, have risen at a blistering pace since it went public in 2011, underlining shoppers’ appetite for luxury items even in a tough economy.

Kors, which has been taking market share from larger rival Coach, reported a 70 per cent jump in third-quarter sales.

The company said it gained from increased footfalls as it converted existing department store premises into branded “shop-in-shops”.

The Michael Kors brand, which was launched 30 years ago as a luxury sportswear house, is known for its leather handbags, watches and apparel that have been worn by Michelle Obama and celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez.

The company said its fourth-quarter net income more than doubled to $101.1m, or 50 cents per share, from $43.6m, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue at the company rose 57 per cent to $597.2m.

Sales in North America, which includes the US and Canada and makes up more than three-quarters of total sales, rose 52 per cent to $516.9m. Sales in Europe rose about 97 per cent to $73.1m.

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