Italian fashion house Valentino suffers drop in profit in 2023

The logo of fashion house Valentino is seen outside a shop in Milan

MILAN (Reuters) -Operating profit at Italian fashion house Valentino dropped 18% last year, to 99 million euros ($105.7 million), the company said on Tuesday.

Last year French luxury group Kering, which is struggling to revive sales at its star brand Gucci, bought a 30%stake in Valentino from Qatari investment fund Mayhoola, with an option to purchase the whole of company's share capital by 2028.

Valentino added its 2023 revenues dropped 3% at constant exchange rate, to 1.35 billion euros ($1.44 billion).

Earlier this year Valentino hired former Gucci designer Alessandro Michele as creative director, after the departure of longtime incumbent Pierpaolo Piccioli.

Direct sales, which include e-commerce and represents 66% of total sales, rose 3% last year, boosted by a positive performance in Asia Pacific and Japan, the company said.

The second half of the year was challenging for the European market, while the Americas showed "encouraging signs" in the same period, the fashion house added.

($1 = 0.9364 euros)

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, editing by Cristina Carlevaro/Keith Weir)