Luxury pen maker S.T.Dupont sees no China slowdown
By Astrid Wendlandt and Pascale Denis
PARIS (Reuters) - S.T. Dupont (DPTP.PA: Quote) is not seeing any signs of a slowdown in China as appetite for small, discreet items such as its luxury pens and lighters remains strong in spite of the country's weaker consumer spending, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
The Paris-listed French luxury company said it expected comparable sales this year excluding currency fluctuations to rise more than 10 percent, driven by solid demand worldwide and its push into leather goods.
This compares with sales growth of 4.7 percent in the year ended March 31.
"We are targeting growth in double-digit terms for this current year," S.T. Dupont CEO Alain Crevet told Reuters in an interview.
S.T.Dupont's upbeat comments contrast with recent warnings from rival luxury brands such as Burberry (BRBY.L: Quote) and Tiffany & Co (TIF.N: Quote), which said they had suffered from weaker demand in China.
The Paris-based company makes about 40 percent of its sales in Asia, with a big proportion of these in China, another 40 percent of its turnover in Europe, 15 percent in the Middle East and around 5 percent in the United States.
Crevet also said the company planned to double the number of its wholly owned shops to 40 within the next three years.
He added that S.T.Dupont aimed to lift its gross margin to 60-65 percent within three years from 51.4 percent in the year ended March 31.
(Editing by James Regan)
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