June 21, 2018 / 12:07 PM / 6 months ago

Chanel steps out of fashion shadows to post 2017 sales growth

PARIS, June 21 (Reuters) - French fashion group Chanel released full year earnings for the first time on Thursday, laying down a marker as one of the luxury world’s biggest labels by sales after both revenue and profit grew strongly in 2017.

The privately-owned, tight-lipped company, famed for its tweed suits and cushioned handbags, has long intrigued the fashion industry by keeping a close lid on numbers. It also has a maverick streak, being one of the only brands to shun online sales of its clothes.

The move to publish was “absolutely not” a precursor to a stock market listing, Chief Financial Officer Philippe Blondiaux told Reuters. He also ruled out a sale.

“It’s exactly the opposite - this financial statement shows that we are amazingly solid financially and we can keep our status as a private, independent company for the next few centuries,” Blondiaux said in an interview.

Chanel posted revenues of $9.62 billion for 2017, an 11 percent rise from a year earlier at constant currencies, helped like its peers by a strong performance in Asia Pacific especially, where sales grew 16.5 percent. Profit rose 18.5 percent from a year earlier to $1.79 billion. (Reporting by Sarah White and Pascale Denis; editing by Luke Baker)

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