Chanel responds to sale rumours

The privately held company triggered speculation about its future last year, after it published consolidated financial results for the first time in its history. Sale rumours have only gained pace since February and the death of its longtime creative director, Karl Lagerfeld. 

However, the secretive Wertheimer family has a long-term plan for its crown jewel, Chanel, and a sale or initial public offering is not on the agenda, with chief financial officer, Philippe Blondiaux squashing all rumours for good.

"I think it will never happen, that’s the best I can say, whether it’s a sale or an IPO. I think being private and independent is a core part of our model and it’s a condition of our success,” Blondiaux told WWD.

“This story is about investment for the long-term, it’s about keeping our status as one of the most desirable brands in the world."

Chanel more than doubled investment last year, spending more than $1 billion to make sure the maker of quilted handbags and No. 5 perfume remains at the top of the luxury pyramid.

“These numbers, the investments we made in the business, is a sign of confidence in our leadership as it is a sign of confidence in our creators and in our brand,” said Blondiaux.

Chanel also reported on Monday that revenues totalled $11.12 billion last year, up 10.5 per cent at comparable rates, driven by strong double-digit growth in the Asia-Pacific region, again placing it neck-and-neck with Louis Vuitton as the world’s biggest luxury brand.

Describing last year as “a remarkable and successful year” for Chanel, Blondiaux said the brand enjoyed “growth in all product lines without exception.” In fashion, most categories achieved double-digit increases, led by leather goods and ready-to-wear.

The fragrance and beauty division was boosted by the launches of Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense and Bleu de Chanel Le Parfum, as well as the first makeup line for men, launched in South Korea in September.