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Gucci bolstered by Chinese tourist: Kering CEO

The company behind fashion power house Gucci highlighted how the Chinese tourist is among its most important customers, helping to boost its comparable sales by 5 percent in the last three months of 2015.

"What is very important to us is we have the right set-up in the destination that would be attractive to the Chinese tourist because those numbers of tourists will continue over the long term to grow," said Kering chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault, in an exclusive interview with CNBC.

"This is very linked to the forex and any change to exchange rate will have an impact so we need to be prepared. What is important is the Chinese structurally will be increasing in terms of the number of people travelling," said Pinault, to CNBC.

Pinault, whose group Kering also owns Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta among other luxury brands, highlighted how Gucci's global network of stores helped offset markets hits by terrorism and economic slumps.

"We have one of the best networks in the world, at least among our brands," said Kering chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault, in an exclusive interview with CNBC.

A Gucci shop in Chengdu, China.
Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images
A Gucci shop in Chengdu, China.

Pinault added that Gucci had completed the renovation of many of its flagship stores, but continues to have a program to renew 60 stores this year, rather than focus on opening new ones.

The fourth-quarter rebound in sales at Gucci was also helped by solid growth in Western Europe and Japan.

"When it comes to our brands we build networks worldwide, for instance we had a decrease in France due to the attacks but not in Italy and Spain... at the same time we had an increase in Australia, in New Zealand where we are, in Japan – Japan has been very good," said Pinault.

Kering said it made a recurring operating profit of 1.646 billion euros ($1.83 billion), down 1 percent, on revenue of 11.584 billion euros, up 15.4 percent, in 2015.

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Reuters contributed to this report.