Iconic luxury shoe specialist Jimmy Choo (CHOO) steps 3.6% higher to 174p on a positive year-end trading statement. Shrugging off challenges in global luxury, the British brand's maiden performance figures following October's IPO show impressive growth across key channels.
For 'calendar' 2014, the shoes and accessories specialist reports sales up 12% at constant currency and 6.2% ahead at reported rates to a record £299 million. The growth is all the more impressive for being delivered amid concerns over a slowdown in Asia and a perfect storm for the luxury industry, hit by the Chinese government’s clampdown on lavish gift-giving, Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrations and wider geopolitical tensions.
Jimmy Choo highlights continuing strong growth in Asia including Japan, with Yen devaluation failing to thwart progress. Brand awareness continues to build in Asia, where Jimmy Choo is expanding organically and through the build out of new stores with a focus on China.
Encouragingly, double-digit growth was driven by a mix of new store openings, healthy 5.7% like-for-like growth and positive wholesale progress. Jimmy Choo has extended its glamorous brand, popularised by television series Sex and the City, beyond women’s shoes to include men’s shoes, bags and fragrances.
CEO Pierre Denis (pictured below) says last year's top line advance was driven by shoes in the main, albeit augmented by growth in small leather goods. Strong performances were achieved in ladies' shoes, the core product offering, as well as men's shoes. The latter is the fastest growing category, with Japanese men in particular hankering after the £655 million cap's high-end footwear.
Shares highlighted the global growth attractions of Jimmy Choo, co-founded in 1996 by one-time Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon and its eponymous couture shoemaker, here in December.