Men's sales march Jimmy Choo higher

Man holding Jimmy Choo shoe Image copyright Jimmy Choo

Designer shoe brand Jimmy Choo has reported higher revenues, partly down to increasing sales of men's designs.

Men's shoes are the fastest-growing sector for the brand, representing 8% of global revenue.

The company also said in its half-year report that the weakness of the pound since the Brexit vote had also helped boost the company's figures.

Revenues hit £173m, up 9.2% compared with the same time last year. Operating profit was up 42.6% at £25m.

Once thought of as the preserve of wealthy women, the brand has seen a surge of interest among men.

"In total, we have 71 dual-gender stores globally and see the potential for continued growth in this sector, so that it will come to represent a proportion of our revenue well into double digits," the company said.

In Japan, where a flagship store is expected to open next year, the sale of men's shoes represented 26% of revenue from the region in the first half.

"The brand's recent decision to focus on expanding men's footwear is proving fruitful," said Nivindya Sharma, senior analyst at Verdict Retail.

Image copyright Jimmy Choo

Geographically, overall sales figures were mixed, according to the report.

"Geopolitical events" in Europe have damaged sales there, while the brand struggled in the US, with sales down 3.4%.

However, the Asian market continued to perform well, the company said.

China and Hong Kong both recorded growth and the company also saw improvements in Japan.

"Jimmy Choo outperformed luxury peers such as Burberry and Mulberry to post a strong set of growth figures for H1 2016," said Ms Sharma.

"While competitors struggle with declining luxury demand in Asian markets, Jimmy Choo has bucked the trend and reported an impressive 22.1% growth in Asia."

Pound delight

The company said that as Jimmy Choo was a global business, it was "well placed to take advantage of market dynamics seen since the GBP devaluation".

Image copyright Jimmy Choo

With 9.5% of global revenue in sterling and 28% of operating costs denominated in the currency, a weaker pound "will lead to a reported upside in business performance at a revenue and profit level", the company said.

Despite a dip in pre-tax profits to £6.6m, down from just over £20m last year, chairman Peter Harf said "challenging market conditions" meant the results were "impressive".

"Creative director Sandra Choi has led a strong half year of product design, building upon Jimmy Choo's British identity to produce ranges which continue to resonate with consumers across the globe," says Ms Sharma.

"Jimmy Choo is in prime position to continue its growth momentum with its multi-pronged focus on e-commerce (bolstered by growing social media engagement and a robust distribution network) and conversion of retail outlets to new concept stores."

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