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Kurt Geiger acquisition boosts Jones Group profits

US brand house Jones Group has posted 42.4% increase in profits for its third quarter, helped in part by the acquisition of premium UK footwear retailer Kurt Geiger earlier this year.

Jones Group, which also owns womenswear brand Anne Klein and footwear brands Easy Spirit and Nine West, acquired Kurt Geiger from private equity backer Graphite Capital for £215m on June 2, so this is the first full three month trading update from the group with Kurt Geiger on board.

The group said that revenues for the three months ended October 1 was $1.04bn (£0.65bn) up from $1.02bn (£0.63bn) in the same period a year ago.

Wes Card chief executive of Jones Group said: “We now have a strong handle on the cost situation, and we’re benefiting from the impact of very tightly controlled inventories.

“I don’t see anything in the economy that signals [there’s] going to be a strong economic pickup. We’re focusing on our brands, on newness and freshness [to give] consumers a reason to buy.”

For the first nine months of this year total revenues rose 4.4% to $2.89bn (£1.8bn) up from $2.77bn (£1.73bn) in the first nine month of 2010.

Following its sale to Jones Group, Kurt Geiger will serve as the group’s European hub as well as gaining a foothold in the US. There are also plans to expand Kurt Geiger in Asia. “I’ve always said we wanted a presence in the US but we needed a more grown-up uncle to help us do it,” said Kurt Geiger chief executive Neil Clifford at the time of the acquisition.

Card added that it would consider a UK and Europe-wide retail and wholesale push for some of its US brands.

Turnover at Kurt Geiger, which has approximately 60 standalone stores worldwide excluding Nine West, rose 70% to £205m in the year to April 2011.

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