Gucci's quarterly sales beat estimates as French luxury group Kering's biggest brand overcame slumping sales in Hong Kong.
The Italian label's fourth-quarter sales rose 11pc on an organic basis, Kering said, growing nearly as much as the previous quarter following a year of deceleration. Analysts had predicted 8.6pc growth.
Kering said it had closed half of its stores in mainland China due to the coronavirus, even more than rival Burberry. It is impossible at this time to fully evaluate the impact of the outbreak on business, chairman Francois-Henri Pinault said.
Gucci's fourth quarter was "remarkable" in light of headwinds from political protests in Hong Kong and a higher sales tax in Japan, chief financial officer Jean-Marc Duplaix said. Kering's sales fell as much as 50pc in Hong Kong as pro-democracy protests prompted mainland Chinese to cancel shopping trips.
Ramped up marketing in the US, including client outreach and greater visibility in department stores, helped Gucci return to growth there.