YSL Seeks to Almost Double Sales in as Little as Three Years

  • Luxury label plans to add stores, ramp up in-house production
  • Brand also aims to boost Ebit margins by 3 percentage points

Kering SA-owned Yves Saint Laurent plans to open 20 stores a year and ramp up in-house production as the luxury brand seeks to almost double sales in as little as three years.

Francesca Bellettini

Photographer: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

YSL is targeting annual revenue of 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in the next three to five years, and also aims to boost profit margins, Chief Executive Officer Francesca Bellettini said at a presentation Monday.

The plans mark a new chapter in the expansion of YSL, whose sales have tripled since 2012 following an overhaul under creative director Hedi Slimane. Growth has continued since designer Anthony Vaccarello took the helm in 2016 as demand increases for new models like the YSL-monogrammed Opyum women’s pump shoe.

“The brand has become clearer and more in sync with the world,” Bellettini said, with millennials now accounting for about 70 percent of clients. 

Kering shares gained 0.7 percent to 306.55 euros in early Paris trading, putting them on course for a third straight record close.

Margin Goal

YSL’s store openings will be balanced between fast-growing luxury markets like Shanghai and Beijing as well as more mature regions such as the brand’s first two outlets in Switzerland. The label had 159 stores at the end of 2016.

YSL aims to boost Ebit margins by 3 percentage points to 25 percent in the next three to five years, Bellettini said, following a 4.7 percentage point jump in 2016. Profitability trails industry leaders like Hermes International, where margins are as high as 32.6 percent by that measure.

“Saint Laurent offers one of the most exciting medium-term growth and margin expansion stories in the luxury sector at the moment,” Thomas Chauvet, an analyst at Citigroup, said in a note.

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