European uncertainty clouds luxury stocks

Wednesday, 08 February 2012

European stocks declined for a second straight day as Greek talks on measures needed to get a second bailout continued and China said industrial-output growth is likely to slow. Cloudy session for LVMH, Swatch, Burberry and Hermés.

Swatch declined 4.2 per cent to 397.40 Swiss francs after reporting 2011 operating profit of 1.61 billion francs ($1.75 billion or about Rs 8,646 crores), missing the average projection in a Bloomberg survey of 1.67 billion francs. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the owner of the Cartier brand, fell 2.6 per cent to 53.85 francs ($58.95 or Rs 2,912).

Therefore, European luxury shares fell, headed by Burberry Group Plc (BRBY), which lost 2.2 per cent to 1,414 pence ($22.4 or Rs 1,106) and Christian Dior SA (CDI) slid 3.2 per cent to 110.75 euros (Rs 7,198). Hermes International SCA, the French maker of Birkin bags and silk scarves, dropped 3.1 per cent to 268.30 euros (Rs 17,419). It was also a tough session for LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC) as it lost 3 per cent after three Bulgari directors sold a 558 million-euro (Rs 36,268 crores ) stake.

Meanwhile, American Apparel (AMEX:APP) shares jumped up 12 per cent after the company says total January sales spiked up 14 per cent to $41 million (Rs 202 crores) while same-store sales rose 15 per cent. The better than expected report marks the fourth-straight month of improvement for the clothing retailer.

Elsewhere, Collective Brands (NYSE:PSS) announced that it will open 16 Payless ShoeSource stores in South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. This deal is under two new franchise agreements with Shinsegae Group’s Emart unit and Central Marketing Group, which is a unit of Central Group in Bangkok. The number of stores will raise the number of countries with franchised Payless stores to 20.

Finally, Fossil announced Tuesday that its earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 ended December 31, 2011 will be released prior to the market opening on Tuesday, February 14, 2012.

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