Recently announced 2018 financial results for Chanel show revenues up 12.5% (to $11.2 billion) and net profits up 16.4% (to $2.17 billion). For a company only disclosing this information for the second time (the first was one year ago in June 2018 – read Chanel Pulls Back Its Financial Robe) and in the midst of a sea of change, certainly this is very positive news. Longtime Chanel head designer and face of the brand Karl Lagerfeld passed away this winter and was replaced with his long-time right hand woman Virginie Viard. Exotic leathers have been banned from use and Chanel is developing its own special fabrications, as well as renovating and expanding its stores, improving its in-store experiences, expanding e-commerce, taking over department store boutiques, investing in its suppliers and so on. And that is without even considering Brexit and the state of the world economy and politics.
So what is the primary question posed to Chanel corporate officers? Again, watchers want to know whether Chanel is up for sale (or readying itself to be sold). That was the buzz when Chanel unveiled its strong financials last year and it has continued since. Lagerfeld’s death certainly has not quelled the concerns.
Chanel Chief Financial Officer Philippe Blondiaux insists Chanel is not on the market and not planning to go public with a stock listing. He stated that the company needs to remain independent in order to pursue its brand and business strategies.
As to the details of Chanel’s 2018 financial success, sales in the Asia-Pacific region climbed over 20%. In the Americas, the spike was 7%.
Blondiaux also reaffirmed that Chanel will not sell its apparel or leather goods online.